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Save Cameo House: Help Protect San Francisco’s Most Vulnerable Women and Their Children!

Updates from the Save Cameo House Campaign:


Our Cameo House program urgently needs your support to continue serving San Francisco’s most vulnerable women and their children! Click here to learn 3 ways YOU can support CJCJ's Cameo House.

Cameo House families gather in the backyard for a Sunday brunch!

CJCJ’s Cameo House is San Francisco’s only long-term transitional housing and alternative sentencing program for homeless, justice-involved women and their children. Since 1997, Cameo House has supported families to get back on their feet with safety, dignity, and respect. For most participants, Cameo House is an alternative to prison or jail. Our program keeps families united by allowing mothers to live with their children in a healthy home-like environment.

Without support from the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor, Cameo House could experience a devastating loss of funding. This would cripple essential services for San Francisco's most vulnerable women and children of color. Cameo House is an essential resource for our participants’ health and safety. We must come together to ensure Cameo House’s sustainable future.

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors has scheduled a public comment hearing at 10am Friday, June 24. You can take action now by sending an email, making a phone call, or by providing public comment on Friday. Now is our opportunity to highlight that Cameo House is a critical program San Francisco needs to fully fund!

Please use our action toolkit to: 1) email San Francisco Supervisors, 2) amplify our message on social media, and 3) provide public comment at the hearing (in-person or over the phone).

“The system is set up to separate families and Cameo House is not that at all. They will fight 100% to keep families together and to help you be with your children. That’s different from the other programs out there.” 

- Cameo House participant

The 12-24 month program focuses on supporting participants as they navigate these systems to meet their goals and address challenges. Areas for support include mental health needs such as complex/post trauma, family reunification, maintaining justice compliance, addressing substance use, enrolling in education or vocational training programs, finding employment, and transitioning into stable housing. For participants who have been impacted by the child welfare system, Cameo House staff provide step-by-step reunification services to help mothers regain custody of their children and strengthen family bonds.  

Cameo House children pose at the Giants Little Leaguers game!

Cameo House breaks cycles of incarceration for San Franciscans

The value of a program like Cameo House cannot be overstated. Maternal incarceration is devastating to families and can leave children with lifelong trauma that affects their physical and mental well-being. We are helping to break the intergenerational cycle of trauma and justice system involvement. In Cameo House’s consistent home-like environment, mothers can build healthy lifestyles and their children can thrive.

Cameo House serves as an alternative to incarceration for over 70 percent of participants, thereby saving expensive incarceration costs and keeping families intact. Currently, our program is home to 10 women and 9 children who are living on-site and/or receiving reunification services. Nearly 90 percent of Cameo House participants are homeless women of color, specifically Black and Latina women. A January 2021 external program evaluation found that of the 22 women and 18 children served between September 2019 and September 2020:

  • 100% of participants with substance issues show decreased use at Cameo House
  • 89% of participants achieve one or more of their program goals
  • 85% of participants report that they feel safe at Cameo House
  • 77% of participants gained and sustained employment
  • 72% of participants returned to education 
  • 78% of graduating participants moved into permanent and stable housing.

CJCJ needs your support to keep essential services open

We must come together to ensure Cameo House’s sustainable future through alternative funding. Unless we move quickly, the program will be forced to close its doors. Losing CJCJ’s essential resource would jeopardize participants’ health and safety and leave women and children particularly vulnerable in the midst of a pandemic.

“I had to find a program where I could have my baby…One [house that was recommended] was too programmed. I needed to learn how to live, not how to program...At Cameo House I’m learning how to live.” 

- Cameo House participant

Every day, Cameo House invests in the unique strengths and diversity of our participants and their children. We are proud to offer a haven for San Francisco mothers and children, and with your support we hope to continue keeping families strong and whole for years to come. 

     

Please join our #Save Cameo campaign!

Contact: For more information, please email us at cjcjmedia@cjcj.org.

Keywords: Cameo House, San Francisco Adult Probation Department, Save Cameo House

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