Blue Mountain Coalition for Youth and Families
Blue Mountain runs a community center serving low income families in West Point, a small Calaveras County town tucked into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, three hours by car east of San Francisco. Their mission is to promote “a vibrant, peaceful, healthy community where everyone is nurtured, supported and inspired.”
The center was founded 20 years ago as a teen activities center by two set of parents who were concerned that their teenagers did not have enough community-centered, healthy activities. Eventually a grant from the California Youth Authority let them purchase their current facility in 1999. Today Blue Mountain serves the broader community, but remains youth centered. The Main Street Center is open to youth four days a week, serves family style meals twice a week, and offers a wide variety of art workshops, supported play, teen outreach sessions and life skills classes. The center also provides space for Mountain Mi-Wok tribal meetings and parties, social service outreach, toddler play groups, art workshops, senior exercise classes and hosts a farmers’ market. The arts remain at the heart of the youth and family programs. One third of the center is dedicated to ceramics, painting, drawing, crafts, and singing and music classes taught by volunteers.