Congressman DeSaulnier Presents $600,000 to A Home Within & CASA for Mental Health Services

By Giving List Staff   |   April 24, 2023
Candice Simonds (sixth from left), AHW Chief Program Officer, and Reed Connell (second from right), AHW Executive Director

We’re excited to announce that on April 12th, 2023 Congressman Mark DeSaulnier visited the CASA office in Concord, CA to present our organizations with a generous $600,000 check. This incredible donation will contribute to increasing access to vital mental health services for current and former youth in foster care.

AHW and CASA of Contra Costa County partnered in late 2019 to launch the CASA Therapy Project (CTP) in order to provide youth with free, online, open-ended psychotherapy.  The AHW-CASA Therapy Project (ACTP) builds on this initial collaboration.  The project is funded by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the California Community Reinvestment Grants Program (CalCRG).  The A Home Within–CASA Therapy Project provides current and former foster youth the type of highly personalized, stable, and committed relationship that, according to the Harvard University Center on the Developing Child, is the “single most common factor for children who develop resilience.” Volunteer psychotherapists provide free, weekly, one-on-one therapy sessions while Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) provide one-to-one mentorship and engage with the courts, social workers, and other service providers. 

Building on A Home Within’s 30-year history of providing free therapy to youth “for as long as it takes,” the ACTP aims to address the mental health needs of current foster youth by facilitating stable, long-term relationships with experienced therapists. The ACTP endeavors to address the trauma and disruption experienced by young people in foster care, helping them develop tools to manage stress and anxiety while building the inner resilience they need to become healthy, thriving adults. CASA’s continuous volunteer recruitment and relationships with local child welfare agencies ensure a pipeline of both volunteers and youth. 

With the support of generous donors like Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, we are making strides in improving the lives of youth in foster care through enhanced access to critical mental health services.  Interested in learning more about A Home Within? Visit our website at 


A Home Within

Donate now!
(510) 387-7518
Executive Director: Reed Connell


With a mission to create and support lasting, caring relationships for children and youth in foster care, A Home Within identifies, recruits, trains, and supports a network of licensed therapists who each provide free, weekly, one-to-one therapy to a single foster youth “for as long as it takes.” For foster youth who often watch people move in and out of their lives, our model creates an anchor of support.

Begin to Build a Relationship

We know you care about where your money goes and how it is used. Connect with this organization’s leadership in order to begin to build this important relationship. Your email will be sent directly to this organization’s Director of Development and/or Executive Director.

When I became an AHW volunteer, I had lingering doubts — I wondered if my contribution was actually necessary or impactful. Now, I have discovered working outside of the mental health system liberates and expands my ability to provide health care rather than focus primarily on symptom reduction for financial reimbursement. Contributing and responding to a new health care model has inspired and revealed the benefits of whole person interventions.
Candice Simonds, AHW Chief Program Officer & Volunteer

Cheers to Another 30 Years of Extraordinary Therapy

In celebration of the upcoming 30th anniversary of the founding of A Home Within, the organization seeks to raise $300,000 to help secure decades more free high-quality therapy for foster youth. 

The funding will allow the nonprofit to expand its community of therapists even further while also investing in a diverse mental health workforce by offering more training and mentorship for early-career therapists of color. 

“We need your support to have another extraordinary 30 years and help thousands more foster youth,” says Executive Director Reed Connell.

Key Supporters

May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust
Sarnat-Hoffman Family Foundation
In-N-Out Burger Foundation
Kaiser Permanente
MYDAR Foundation
Glass Half Full Foundation
Mental Insight Foundation
Aviv Foundation
The Louis and Harold Price
CASA organizations
throughout California
Foster Care Research Group at the
University of San Francisco
11 California Family Foundations
Over 350 Individual Donors