Mental Health Assoc of San Mateo County

A nonprofit organization

10 donors

“I tell my son Brandon, ‘You can do anything in the world. It’s all up to you.’”

 Yvette knows. She has overcome serious mental health struggles and homelessness to raise a son of whom she’s very proud. Her son is now a student at College of San Mateo while working part-time at Target. After CSM he aims to attend a university, studying psychology.

 Hard times hit Yvette in 1996. When Brandon was three years old, Brandon’s dad passed away. Yvette went, in her words, “haywire.” She was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. She wound up at Spring Street Shelter while Yvette’s mother took care of Brandon.

 After staying at Spring Street, Yvette continued in MHA’s transitional housing program, which gave her more time to stabilize and set a new path. She took advantage.

 She started catering in Palo Alto, followed by a job at Albertsons as a bagger. She moved up to bakery manager, where she worked for five years. She worked another three years at Safeway.

 During this time MHA gave her the stability she needed to work and raise Brandon. MHA connected Yvette to housing and supported her with case management.

 Growing up, Brandon saw his mother’s struggles. “He’s seen some episodes. He visited me in the hospital. He knows that I have mental issues that aren’t going away.”

 Brandon benefited when the family of a friend invited him to join their family activities. The father of that family served as a father figure.

 Yvette and Brandon eventually moved into MHA’s Burlingame Apartments, where they have lived for six years. She meets regularly with the MHA caseworker and attends the annual holiday party.

 Today Brandon motivates Yvette. “I have to keep a good state of mind because my son’s here.”

Brandon has overcome his own challenges. When classes at Aragon High School proved difficult, he enrolled in Peninsula Continuation School. He had, after all, seen his Mom persevere through hard times. His 3.5 GPA earned him a return to Aragon, where he graduated.

 “I cried when he graduated. How much more could I be blessed for?” said Yvette.

 Yvette keeps the graduation program on hand and shows it proudly.  “He couldn’t believe it. He did it. He decided on his own to go to CSM. Now he just told me he’s got a job at Target.”

 Yvette is effusive in her praise for MHA. “MHA helped advocate for me. They set up doctor’s appointments and found me places to live.  I thank MHA so much. I couldn’t have made it without their support. Now I’m ready to move forward.”


Organization Data


Organization name

Mental Health Assoc of San Mateo County

Tax id (EIN)







(650) 368-3345