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Sunrise House exists for the purpose of reducing the use of drugs/alcohol by young people and the misuse or abuse of drugs by all people in the community it serves. The program’s mission further includes the promotion of family unity, community education concerning drug abuse in cooperation with schools and other community agencies/groups, the development of prevention related to strengthening the family, drug abuse prevention, and juvenile delinquency. SUNRISE HOUSE came into existence in September, 1970,in response to the youth drug problem and expressed needs of the young people in our community. Seven agencies banded together through a joint powers agreement to provide the resources to form the “Salinas Area Youth Drug Inrormation Crisis Center”. The Salinas Union High School District took the lead in cooperation with the Salinas Police Department, Probation Department and Juvenile Hall in developing a forceful educational program on drug abuse. The “Center” was funded by the City of Salinas, Salinas City School District, Hartnell College, Monterey County Office of Education and local service organizations. On July 9, 1970, the first regular Board meeting of the “Salinas Area Youth Drug Information/Crisis Center” was held at City Hall. At this meeting it was decided the “center” would be located at 310 Capitol Street, Salinas. The City of Salinas did the intial cleanup of the site, and on September 18, 1970 the Salinas Area Youth Drug Information Crisis Center formally opened. On November 20, 1970 the board of directors approved the name “Sunrise House”.
Sunrise House has also helped other organizations get their start. Tough Love, began operating in the evenings at Sunrise House in the late 70’s. The Salinas Valley Child Abuse Prevention Council, now CAPC, started its operation in the back porch area on January 26, 1979, Saferiders had its beginnings in 1986 at Sunrise House, Suicide Prevention’s Teen Hotline was given a room on July 9, 1993 to provide services for youth in the Salinas area, Proyecto Unidad began operations in January, 1993, The Housing Authority’s ” Drug Elimination Program” started at Sunrise House in December, 1993. In addition “Youth Alternatives to Violence” started in the spring of 1993. In early August of 1974, Sunrise House moved to its present location, 116 E. Alisal St. The City of Salinas and SUHSD provided trucks and manpower to facilitate the move. In September of 1980, Juana Ventura-York became the first Sunrise House member to work at a school site. With a small grant and financial help from the High School District, Juana was placed at Alisal High School as a Crisis Intervention Specialist. Sunrise began discussions with United Way in late 1984, with United Way providing financial support in 1985. Also, in 1984 Sunrise House entered into agreement with the Salinas Union High School District to provide Alcohol/Drug Resource Specialists at the four High Schools. Currently, there are 7 Alcohol/Drug Resource Specialists located at both the High Schools and Middle Schools. The Joint Powers was expanded in 1993/1994 with the addition of: Washington Union School District, Santa Rita School District, The Housing Authority of Monterey County and North Monterey County School District. Sunrise House assumed responsibility of the Friday Night Live/Club Live programs for Monterey County in July, 1996.