Skip to main content


Alameda Sun, Sun Staff Reports

California Assemblymember Mia Bonta named Alameda Family Services (AFS) the 2023 California Nonprofit of the Year for her assembly district. Bonta and her assembly staff congratulated AFS officials and gave them their award at a ceremony in Sacramento on Wednesday, June 7.

“Alameda Family Services encapsulates community,” said Bonta. “Their intentional work for newborns, childcare assistance, and promoting successful student outcomes. Additionally, Alameda Family Services understands the needs for individual and family wellness by offering holistic services to address mental health, housing, and workforce referrals, and working with Alameda Fire Department with their CARE response program to address mental health crisis. That is the type of community care all deserve.”

AFS offers several mental health and educational programs for Alameda residents. AFS’ School-Based Division provides mental health services to all 15 Alameda Unified School District schools. They provide students access to California Board Registered mental health professionals. AFS’ Early Childhood and Family Support Division offers services through Head Start/Early Head Start, and their Family Support Resource Center. AFS also partnered with the City of Alameda and the Alameda Fire Department to create the Alameda Community Assessment Response & Engagement, which provides a 24/7 alternative response to nonviolent individuals facing a mental health crisis.

“It is an honor for Alameda Family Services to be recognized by Assemblymember Mia Bonta for our work by, and for, City of Alameda residents” said Katherine Schwartz, Executive Director of AFS. “Being selected through the California State Legislature as the District 18 Nonprofit of the Year, Alameda Family Services' focus on the wellbeing of the community as a whole is elevated as an important California value. Alameda Family Services operates at the nexus of family, health, education, and partnerships in our pursuit of fostering healing resiliency, and growth through the delivery of progressive and comprehensive services to individuals and families at all stages in life. We are deeply grateful to Assemblymember Mia Bonta for this distinction.”

Bonta, who oversees California Assembly District 18, which represents Oakland, Alameda, and Emeryville, admired AFS’ longevity in helping Alameda residents.

“For nearly 55 years, AFS has been deeply rooted in the City of Alameda and continues to be a safe, inclusive, compassionate, and respectful resource for those seeking greater emotional, psychological, and physical wellbeing in Alameda and beyond,” said Bonta.

AFS began in 1969 as The Love — In Switchboard, a teen hotline born of a mother’s desire to ease the many adversities facing young people in the community. AFS has broadened into delivery progressive and comprehensive mental health, early childhood education, and family support services.

This is the eighth year of the California Nonprofit of the Year initiative, a state-wide effort honoring the critical role nonprofit organizations play in California. Each assembly member awards a candidate in their district.