FAQ

Who We Are

  • We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides residential, clinical, and life skills to adults with mental health conditions as they work to transition from the justice system into society.
  • Gray Haven is NOT an outpatient facility, a crisis center, a drug/alcohol treatment center, a halfway house, or a detention facility. It is a residential program for individuals who are motivated to improve their quality of life, manage their mental health needs, and emerge as contributing members of our community.
  • Gray Haven operates 24-hours a day, year around. The program opens with 14 full-time staff, plus 2.5 kitchen staff, a handyman and 3 administrative personnel, as well as a Board of Directors.
  • It’s estimated that 5.2% of adults in California reported an unmet need for mental health treatment each year – about 1.6 million people. Napa, like so many communities in California, still grapples with unmet needs for Napa residents with mental health issues who are leaving the justice system.
  • The Eliza Yount House at Pine and Seminary Streets had been vacant since the 2014 earthquake and was in poor condition. The property has been substantially renovated into a modern residential facility to enable us to treat all residents with dignity and respect. It provides the room necessary to serve residents.
  • A generous local benefactor was able to secure the property and will now operate it as a residential care facility. 
  • Gray Haven is a place to call home. The property provides ample space for residents to thrive, and access to local resources and employment opportunities.
  • Gray Haven is a licensed 6-bed residential care program, which consists of shared supportive housing and therapeutic treatment programs for adults in need of a structured environment after incarceration. Each will have demonstrated clinical mental health symptoms that fit the criteria for our program.
  • Residents will be supported by an expert team of licensed mental health professionals, a psychiatrist, nursing staff, and a program team of independent living coaches and instructors. They will access medical and dental care, etc., from local community physicians and hospitals.

Gray Haven was created through the shared personal and professional experiences of Luis and Linda Nieves, longtime Napa residents and business owners; and former Criminal Trial Court Judge, Patricia Gray, JD, PsyD.; and others who were concerned about the lack of options for families with loved ones leaving the justice system with the need for continued mental health treatment and support for their successful reentry into the Napa County community.

  • The success of Gray Haven is dependent on meaningfully engaging the community in understanding the importance of housing and rehabilitation services for the formerly incarcerated and genuinely addressing the community's concerns and fears. Also of importance is providing a means for the community to develop confidence in the programs' safety and effectiveness and trust in the provider organization.
  • The success of Gray Haven is also dependent on collaboration and interacting with all manner of organizations and agencies in Napa County.
  • We intend to work closely with, but not limited to Napa County Probation Department, Courts, Salvation Army, Community Innovations, Police, Sheriff, NAMI, etc.

Residents, Staffing and Security

  • Adults 18-59 transitioning from incarceration on parole or probation who are motivated to improve their quality of life, manage their clinical mental health needs, and emerge as contributing members of our community.
  • Residential care only. No out-patient (i.e., day) programs.
  • All residents must be, and remain, clean and sober. They will each be randomly tested for drugs and alcohol, and routinely tested on admission and after they return from overnight visits.
  • Gray Haven does not accept individuals who have committed sexual offenses, arson, or crimes against or involving a minor. We also do not accept individuals who pose a risk of danger to themselves or others. They must also show a written history of medication compliance.
  • Napa County residents receive priority.

As a licensed, 6-bed “board and care” program, Gray Haven will operate at all times with the number of staff required by our license, which includes no less than 1 staff for every three clients during daytime hours. While not required by the license, we plan to maintain the 1:3 ratio during nighttime.

  • We expect the program to start in late-June with a maximum of six residents, as allowed by current city permitting and our license.
  • Expansion is desirable and we plan to do so, but any larger program will require a submission of detailed plans and approval of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) by the City of Napa, which is a public process and allows for public input.

People with disabilities have a right, protected under federal law, to live where they choose (see The Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3601). People with mental illness live in every neighborhood, in every town and city, throughout the United States and beyond.

It’s vitally important that the facility is secure for the protection of residents and neighbors alike. We have invested heavily in security and surveillance systems and will remain in close contact with the Napa Police Department, neighbors, and other stakeholders as we design and operate the program. We want our neighbors to feel safe and welcome Gray Haven as a caring part of the Napa community.

The emphasis on programing and medication compliance serves two purposes. One is to advance the progress of each resident and our selfless dedication in their success at reentry. The second is when they are “working the program” under close supervision they are safe, the staff is safe, and the community is safer. We wear two hats: as both advocate for our clients and for community safety.

All residents are required to take their psychotropic medications as prescribed, which protects the client, the community, the program, the staff, and other residents. Medication non-compliance would be considered good-cause for expulsion from the program.

  • Gray Haven Napa is not a locked facility, but is a secure facility designed for the protection of its residents and neighbors alike. It is not a detention facility. Residents are admitted voluntarily, under terms and conditions defined by the court, their probation officer, and Gray Haven admissions standards.
  • Residents may be individuals on probation or parole. Incarceration and institutionalization often diminishes familiarity with basic skills like shopping, using public transit or going to the bank. Our program staff will work to restore and/or build necessary skills, which means helping them as they navigate the local community and experience how they themselves can contribute.
  • Each individual’s ability to access the community independently will be determined by medical and psychiatric staff, and their progress will be closely monitored. New residents can only leave the premises with a staff member for the first 30-days. The next phase is leaving with another responsible resident and their time out is closely monitored. No resident may leave the facility without someone accompanying them for the first 60-days, and thereafter only if staff knows where they are going and when they will return. No groups of more than three residents will congregate at the nearby parks. The ultimate goal, of course, is that they will learn to work and live independently without supervision.
  • Residents risk expulsion from the program if they violate program rules.
  • Napa County residents receive priority placement.

Possible Community Concerns

A residential facility is someone’s home. Although the home may be owned by someone else, such as a business or non-profit organization, its purpose is still that of a dwelling.

This is permissible because of the provision within California State Zoning Law: “Whether or not unrelated persons are living together, a residential care facility that serves six or fewer persons shall be considered a residential use of property for the purposes of this chapter. In addition, the residents and operators of the facility shall be considered a family for the purposes of any law or zoning ordinance that relates to the residential use of property pursuant to this chapter”.

Support

  • Gray Haven is grateful for donations of gently worn clothing and shoes, coats, professional clothing for job interviews; art supplies, garden tools, reading material, bikes, hobby supplies, outdoor furniture, recreational equipment.
  • We also welcome volunteers and peer involvement in our operations.
  • Gray Haven is a 501(c)(3), and appreciates all generous, large and small charitable contributions.
  • We have and will continue to invite neighbors to visit the property until residents are living at Gray Haven. We are preparing photos and a video tour to share with the public.
  • We regret that some of our neighbors felt left out by our earliest communication efforts. We will continue to improve the level and frequency of outreach.