The CalHOPE program, launched statewide with the goal of emotional support in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, began in March 2021 and ended in July 2022. With the assistance of funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the SDRCC set about fulfilling the aptly characterized goal of providing hope and health to communities with insufficient resources for medical and mental care. The SDRCC was relatively new at this time – CalHOPE was a source of unity for the ECBOs involved and helped kickstart following behavioral health initiatives.

The member organizations of the SDRCC are now working to build their own program capacity to provide the same level of security and assistance as CalHOPE. While the program’s unifying effect and peremptory funding was a beginning for the SDRCC’s own behavioral health programs, each organization hopes to be able to target the needs of its niche communities and the unique issues they face in the wake of the pandemic.

At its peak, the CalHOPE program had 27 Community Support Navigators

The CalHOPE program had 27 Community Support Navigators drawn from the SDRCC to assist underprivileged communities with material aid for general well-being as well as medical aid and environmental stressors, and more personal aid with mental health support. The SDRCC’s organizations united to pull together their own budget and receive the proper state funding to fuel the program. CalHOPE has a much broader reach now than when it first launched in San Diego, and in the SDRCC, became the foundation for the principles and practices of the coalition’s current behavioral health initiatives.