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Psynergy Wins 2019 Housing Hero Award from San Mateo County

Housing Heroes recipients
Award from Jackie Speier, U.S. House of Representatives

November 27, 2019 – Psynergy Programs was one of seven winners chosen from 60 housing providers nominated for San Mateo County’s Housing Hero awards for 2019. Lynda Kaufmann, Psynergy’s director of government and public affairs was individually recognized as the public face of the Psynergy organization, and was on hand to accept the award.  (Seated second from right, above.)

“We are very honored to be recognized in this way by San Mateo County,” said Kaufmann. "The purpose of their award program is to recognize individuals and organizations that are willing to provide housing and rent to seriously mentally ill individuals. Psynergy Programs was one of only two board and care organizations recognized this year. It is even more of an honor for us because Psynergy is an out-of-county provider.” 

Psynergy Programs was nominated by Betty Ortiz-Gallardo, the supervising mental health clinician for San Mateo County.

“This is our 12th year to present the Housing Hero awards,” said Ortiz-Gallardo. “The purpose of the award is to honor community partners that have demonstrated exceptional leadership in providing housing for residents of San Mateo County who have mental health and co-occurring conditions.”

The Housing Hero awards are organized by San Mateo County, and the co-occurring change agent housing committee selected the winners from 60 submissions. For Ortiz-Gallardo, Psynergy Programs stood out as a worthy candidate for 2019.

“While the award focuses on housing, the associated programming that Psynergy offers our clients is superb,” said Ortiz-Gallardo. “Living in a community setting versus being in a locked facility is huge. Many of the clients we refer to Psynergy have been in a locked facility for a long time. Being able to step clients down to an environment like Psynergy, where we know they are in good, compassionate hands, is an enormous win in my book. They do a phenomenal job of taking care of clients, and their ability to provide therapy is not duplicated by any other program.”

Ortiz-Gallardo also noted that Psynergy’s additional offering of independent but supervised housing for clients who are doing well is very special.  “A couple of our clients have been very successful in that program,” she says. “Living in a little apartment with a roommate, demonstrating that they are able to take their own meds and be more independent–no other place does that. We love Psynergy. We only wish we could have more beds available for us there.”

San Mateo County has placed clients at Psynergy Programs’ Morgan Hill, Greenfield and Sacramento properties, with an eye to which property is the best fit for the individual. 

“We try to work with the client,” Ortiz-Gallardo noted.  “Psynergy does a good job of being able to figure out the placement. Sometimes a smaller property is better, or one that is closer to family.”

In addition to recognition from San Mateo County, the certificates presented included commendations from U. S. Congresswoman Jackie Speier, California Senator Jerry Hill from the 13th District, and Kevin Mullin, Speaker Pro Tempore of the California Legislature Assembly. 

The text appearing on the certificate from Congresswoman Speier spoke with eloquence and compassion on the need for secure housing for the mentally ill. With respect and thanks, we recount her commendation:

“Congratulations on receiving the 2019 Housing Hero Award! Psynergy has played an important role in providing housing to those struggling with mental health and substance abuse conditions and created a foundation for recovery and new beginnings.  Stable housing is integral to the health and well-being of individuals and communities.  Thank you for your advocacy and commitment to serving those in need.”

Congresswoman Jackie Speier
U.S. House of Representatives