Why Sunny Hills Services Changed Its Name to Side by Side

Why Sunny Hills Services Change Its Name to Side by Side

123 years serving the most vulnerable young people in our community

Sunny Hills Services has had a long history in Marin County. Founded in 1895 as an orphanage, we became known as Sunny Hills in the 1930s in reference to our idyllic San Anselmo campus (with our street, Sunny Hills Drive, subsequently named for us) — and we’re still headquartered on that same campus today.  

In recent years, though, we’ve evolved significantly to meet the needs of young people in our communities, and we needed a name that would reflect our expansion beyond the Sunny Hills location and unite our broad spectrum of programs. We also wanted a name that evokes the essence of our work with young people.

The experience of our direct care staff is one of walking with our young clients on their journey — not leading or following but meeting them where they are without judgment or hierarchy. The name Side by Side encapsulates this simple, but most essential aspect of our work. And, importantly, Side by Side describes our relationship with partners in the community that make our work possible.

Today, Side by Side operates in four counties, reaching nearly 2,000 young people ages 5 to 26 and their families with critical services. In Marin County, our programs include:

—Irene M. Hunt School: K-12 day school for students with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges that cannot be met in the public school system, providing a therapeutic environment that equips students to thrive academically and socially.

—ReStart: Residential and after school substance abuse treatment program for adolescents ages 13-17 that blends recovery, mental health, and daily coping skills through individual and group therapy, behavioral interventions, parent education, adventure therapy, and recreation.

—TAY Space: Drop-in center and full service support for youth ages 16-25 (transitional age youth, or TAY) who struggle with severe mental, behavioral, and/or emotional disorders (compounded, for some, by homelessness) while navigating toward a self-sufficient adulthood.

—YouThrive: Community-based early intervention program for 11-18 year olds to prevent and divert the escalation of troubling behaviors such as failing grades, truancy, gang activity, and drug and alcohol abuse.

—Community Counseling: Spectrum of community-based clinical services — from individual and group therapy to crisis stabilization and medication management — based on the specific needs and diagnosis of the young person.

Side by Side (Marin County)

But we couldn’t do any of this without the support of our Marin community. It takes tremendous resources to provide the services required for our youth to heal from trauma, and donations are critical in helping fill in funding gaps. Join with us, side by side, on the next leg of our journey: SidebySideYouth.org/donate

Learn more about our Marin County programs, and join us for our major annual fundraiser, Reach for the Stars Gala, on Sept. 22.

Side by Side (Marin County) logo