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January: Resources List

A comprehensive list of East Bay resources to help out during the tough economic times.


Compiled by Martha Ross


Crisis lines and mental and physical and social service referrals


Nationwide suicide prevention hotline: (800) SUICIDE (784-2433)

Contra Costa Crisis Center, crisis-center.org

Suicide Prevention: (800) 273-TALK (8255)
Crisis Intervention: (800) 833-2900
Grief Counseling: (800) 837-1818
Homesless Services: (800) 808-6444
Youth Services: (800) 863-7600

Crisis Support Services of Alameda County, crisissupport.org/contact/index.html
24-hour Crisis Line (800) 309-2131

Contra Costa County Mental Health 24-hour Crisis Stabilization Unit (If you or a loved one is in a crisis); (925) 646-2800.

211. This three-digit number, similar to 411 for directory assistance and 911 for emergencies, was set aside by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide health and human service referrals. Alternative toll-free numbers for 211 services are: for Alameda County, (888) 886-9660; for Contra Costa County, (800) 830-5380.

Surviving Parenting Guide, published by the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Contra Costa County, is a comprehensive list of East Bay organizations that offer a wide range of services: mental health; youth services; substance abuse and treatment; faith-based; legal assistance and advice. In their listings for mental health services, they include centers, such as the Discovery Counseling Center in Danville and John F. Kennedy University’s Counseling Center, that offer sliding scale fees and information on whether they accept private insurance or Medi-Cal. You can access the Surviving Parenting Guide online at capc-coco.org/surviving.html or get a hard copy by calling (925) 798-0546. Executive Director Carol Carrillo adds that in times of economic stress, incidents of child abuse and negelect, unfortunately, increase.

National Alliance on Mental Illness-Contra Costa: Runs support groups and classes for families dealing with mental illness. Also provides links to authoritative information on prescription medications used to alleviate symptoms of mental illness. Visit namicontracosta.org, e-mail xnamicc@aol.com, or call Dave (925) 676-5771 or Gloria (925) 957-5146.

National Alliance on Mental Illness-Alameda County: visit nami-alamedacounty.org, or call 510-835-0188.

Bay Area Crisis Nursery: Free, confidential, and voluntary residential care facility for children, ages 0-11, whose parents are
temporarily unable to cope during times of stress. The nursery provides children with food, clothing, and loving care. Parents can visit their children during the day. 1506 Mendocino Dr., Concord, (925) 685-6633. The nursery also has two crisis lines: (925) 685-8052 and (925) 685-3695, bacn.jkmas.com

STAND! Against Domestic Violence: This Concord nonprofit provides prevention, intervention, and treatment services. STAND! also helps victims of domestic violence find emergency shelter and other housing, provides treatment for people who have abused their partners, and therapeutic services for children and adults recovering from abuse. Call the crisis hotline at (888) 215-5555; the business line
at (925) 676-2845, or visit standagainstdv.org.


Job networking and referral services


Experience Unlimited: A no-fee career resource center and job search networking group for business, managerial, and technical professionals. Experience Unlimited, sponsored by the California Employment Development Department (www.edd.cahwnet.gov), also offers workshops on resume writing, interviewing, salary negotiation, and related topics. EU members have access to job listings, networking events and an offices with phones, fax and Internet-connected computers.

Contra Costa chapter, 4071 Port Chicago Highway, Suite 250, Concord, (925) 602-0166, euccca.org

Oakland chapter, 675 Hegenberger Rd., Oakland, (510) 563-5310, euoakland.org.

Job Connections: A support and networking volunteer organization, based as the Community Presbyterian Church in Danville, for Bay Area residents looking for jobs or transitioning to new careers. The members include people from a variety of business, financial, technical, and professional disciplines who are planning career changes or seeking new positions. Meetings include prayer, guest speakers, workshops, and opportunities to network. The group meets 9–11:30 a.m. every Saturday at the Presbyterian Church, 222 W. El Pintado, Danville. You must attend an introductory session that starts at 9 a.m. Saturday before you can join the group. jobconnections.org.


Free or low-cost workshops and classes for coping mentally, physically, and even financially with challenging economic times


Private studios and nonprofit groups

Community Yoga Classes, Yoga and Movement Center, Walnut Creek.
One-hour, drop-in classes, costing $7 per person, are offered Wednesdays at 6 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. The classes are taught by yoga instructors in training. yoga-movement.com/Schedule.html

Elephant Pharmacy, Walnut Creek
Starting in the new year, the pharmacy will continue to offers free weekly yoga classes at noon Wednesdays, as well as one-hour courses that can enhance your life in others ways, such as Lunchtime Dreaming, DATE, which helps you explore your dream life: and Road Map for the New Year, DATE; and Let Your Heart Lead the Way, in which you embolden yourself to find your own answers for a better life within yourself. 388 S. California Blvd.
Walnut Creek, (925) 658-5300, elephantpharm.com

Lululemon Athletics, Berkeley
Complimentary yoga classes are offered Tuesday evenings, 7:30–8:30, at the yoga and athletics clothing store in Berkeley’s Elmwood neighborhood. 2956 College Ave.
Berkeley, 510.666.0418

Infinite Smile Sangha meditation groups take place Monday evenings, 7:30–9, and involve about a half hour of group meditation then a talk, inspired by Zen Buddhist teachers, by Infinite Smile founder Michael McAlister. 2940 Camino Diablo, Ste. 200, Walnut Creek. $15 donation is suggested, infinitesmile.org.

Local city parks and recreation departments

Local city recreation departments offer low-cost fitness, wellness, and life skills classes in a variety of areas, including pilates, martial arts, meditation, healthful fitness, and personal financial planning. The following classes and workshops, offered in these selected cities and starting in the New Year, seem especially designed to help people cope mentally, physically, or financially with today’s challenging times:

• Walnut Creek Recreation Division

Stress Management: A six-class Thursday evening course, February 5–March 12, teaches you how to feel more relaxed, handle conflict, and break stressful habits.
Fee: $90.

Job Searching and Career Coaching: One two-hour class on the evening of January 29 offers tips on job searches, emerging industries, and even work-at-home opportunities.
Fee: $29 for the class, $30 for lab fee

• Pleasant Hill Recreation and Parks Department

First Line Therapy: A four-week, Tuesday evening class, January 13–February 3, helps you learn to make daily choices that will help you adopt a healthy, happy life-style. It includes information on nutrition, exercise, and stress-reduction techniques.
Fees: $36 for non-residents; $30 for residents.

• Town of Danville Recreation Services

Serenity Mindfulness Meditation: Tuesday evening classes, January 13–March 10, combine simple breathing and yoga practices with meditation techniques to relax the body and slow “the brainwaves.
Fees: $79 non residents; $66 residents.

Qigong for Health Workshop: This one-day workshop on Saturday, February 7 introduces students to Qigong, an essential component of traditional Chinese medicine, and combines gentle exercises with conscious breathing and stillness to reduce stress and calm the mind.
Fees: $60 non-presidents; $50 residents

• San Ramon Parks and Community Services

How to Get Where You Are to Where You Want to Be: This six-session class on Wednesday evenings, February 4–March 11, borrows principles from Jack The
Success Principles to help you decide what you want out of life and set personal goals.
Fees: $30 non-resident; $24 resident

Free Yourself from Clutter and Stress: During this one-session evening class, Thursday, February 12, you will learn basic organizing principles from a local professional organization. Class includes a free post-class 30-minute private consultation.
Fees: $37 non-resident; $29 resident


• Livermore Area Parks and Recreation District

Learning the Hypnotic Process: During eight Tuesday evening classes, January 27– March 17 and March 31–May 19, learn self-hypnosis techniques to relax, find ways to focus, improve self-esteem, change unwanted habits. 8 classes.
Fees: $77

Personal Development Using Self-Hypnosis: During eight Wednesday evening classes, January 28–March 18 and April 1–May 20, learn to develop a strong, positive attitude toward life, control your temper, rid youself of phobias, and fine-tune “your mind and body for a happier, healthier life.”
Fees: $77


• Dublin Recreation Department

The Housing & Economic Recovery Act Of 2008: How It Affects Your Taxes If You Are A Homeowner: During this one-afternoon class on Saturday, March 14, students will learn how this act, with its hundreds of provisions, encourages homeownerships and helps prevent foreclosures. You will also get tips on tax law changes starting in 2009 that might affect your capital gains taxes.
Fees: $17 non-resident; $15 resident

Faced With Losing Your Job? During this afternoon class, Saturday, January 24, learn what your financial options are when you are facing a job loss.
Fees: $12 non-residents; $10 residents

• Concord Community and Recreation Services

Buy Real Estate Under Market Value: In this one-session class, offered 6:30–8 p.m. Tuesday, January 27 or Tuesday, February 24, prospective home buyers can learn the pros and cons of buying real estate under market value through short sales, foreclosures, REOs, and auctions.
Fees: $24 non-resident; $19 resident


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