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9th Annual Award Ceremony Honoring “Housing Heroes”
County recognizes individuals who help people with mental health and substance use conditions recover through stable, affordable housing


Finding affordable housing in San Mateo County is more challenging than ever, especially for people who are low-income, have a mental health challenges, and/or are recovering from a substance use disorder. On October 27, San Mateo County leadership and San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services will honor individuals who have helped people with mental health and substance use conditions find or stay in housing so they can recover and maintain good health.

While one in four people have a mental health condition, less than half get the help they need. One way to help is to provide stable, affordable housing so people have the opportunity to recover. When the Housing Heroes Award was created in 2008, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the county was $1,583 per month. Today, that same apartment would rent for $2,638– an increase of over 65%. The work of “Housing Heroes” is now more important than ever.

“With housing being such a challenging issue and essential for people’s recovery, it’s important to take the time to honor Housing Heroes who help residents remain part of their communities,” said Stephen Kaplan, Director of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. “These men and women go above and beyond to provide people with a secure and safe place to live, which supports well-being and recovery. And not only does it help the individual but also their family, friends and our entire San Mateo County community.”

The 2016 San Mateo County Change Agent Housing Committee has selected the following recipients as this year’s Housing Heroes:

  • Kelsey Fuller, Caminar
  • Miguel Hernandez, Property Owner
  • Rosemary Henson, Property Owner
  • San Mateo County Abode Services
  • Whitley Property Management, Inc.

The awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, October 27 from 3:00pm to 4:30pm at the Sobrato Center, 350 Twin Dolphin Drive, in Redwood City. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. More information is available at

The public is also invited to join County leadership, the Department of Housing, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, and other community partners to hear about the current housing market and the innovative new programs to support property owners and managers at the 2nd Annual Property Owners and Managers Appreciation event. This will be held just before the Housing Heroes award ceremony, on Thursday, October 27, 2016 from 1:15pm to 2:45pm at the Sobrato Center in the Bay Combined Room. More information is available here. Please RSVP to Mariella Dunleavy, Department of Housing at (650) 802-3300 or