Helping All Ages and Stages Through Life's Challenges

San Carlos, CA   |


For over 55 years, StarVista has helped people across San Mateo County navigate life's challenges. From struggles with substance abuse and thoughts of suicide to family violence and homelessness, StarVista helps more than 44,000 people from all walks of life persevere through these challenges every year. We believe that everyone deserves the chance to be healthy and strong, and the StarVista mission is to deliver high impact services through counseling, skill development, and crisis prevention to children, youth, adults and families. Through its services, StarVista strives to empower individuals, inspire hope, and strengthen community.

Notes from the nonprofit

"StarVisa continues to remain the same, impassioned agency, wholeheartedly committed to representing, serving, and advocating for the diverse populations of our community. We are proud to be recognized as the premier thought leader and service provider addressing mental health, youth homelessness, recovery services, and suicide prevention within San Mateo County. Thank you to all of you - our supporters, collaborators, funders, donors, and allies - for making StarVista into what it is today. It is through the generosity and support of partners like you that we are able to continue empowering individuals, inspiring hope, and strengthening communities." -Dr. Sara Larios Mitchell, CEO, Ph.D., MACP

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Sara Larios Mitchell Ph.D., MACP

Main address

610 Elm St Suite 212

San Carlos, CA 94070 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Youth and Family Enrichment Services



NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Alcohol, Drug and Substance Abuse, Dependency Prevention and Treatment (F20)

Hot Line, Crisis Intervention (F40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Homelessness, substance use, intimate partner violence, mental health stressors, and relationship and communication issues are some of the biggest challenges individuals and families in San Mateo County are facing. Rates of youth suicide, suicidal ideation and self-harm are on the rise. Local schools are requesting clinical services in greater amounts. As the cost of living in San Mateo County continues to rise, young adults are struggling to earn a living wage, meet their educational goals, and find stable, affordable housing. Parents are often working multiple jobs just to afford basic family needs, and as a result, struggling to be present and emotionally available for their children. The need for mental health care and resources continues to grow, and many who need support aren't able to afford or access the help they need. StarVista is committed to building solutions that address these issues and empowering individuals from all walks of life to find their best future.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Community Wellness and Crisis Response Team (CWCRT)

StarVista’s Community Wellness and Crisis Response Team (CWCRT) Pilot Program, in partnership with San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and 4 police departments: San Mateo, Daly City, South San Francisco, and Redwood City, is designed to improve law enforcement response to community members experiencing mental health crisis.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Affordable counseling services for children, adolescents, adults, and families, covering relationship issues, behavioral concerns, depression/anxiety, life transitions, peer conflicts, homework stress, self-esteem, and more. Clients learn new coping strategies, change negative patterns, and improve parenting skills.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Provides education and crisis intervention services for people of all ages across San Mateo County including educational mental health and suicide prevention presentations at schools, online teen chatroom and texting line, a mobile crisis response team (Youth SOS), and San Mateo County's only 24-hour crisis hotline which operates 365 days per year.

Population(s) Served

A transitional housing program that provides housing insecure or homeless teens aged 16-21 with shelter and the skills and resources they need to live on their own. Youth staying at Daybreak receive training in:
- obtaining and maintaining employment;
- personal health and self-care;
- money management;
- meal planning/preparation;
- performing daily chores;
- accessing/using educational training and community resources;
- locating and renting housing;
- pursuing educational opportunities;
and more.

Mental health support provided includes case management, counseling, educational groups, socialization activities, and permanency planning.

Referrals to the Daybreak program are accepted from community-based organizations, schools, parents, law enforcement agencies, and self-referrals.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people
At-risk youth
Young adults

The Early Childhood Services team provides services through three main branches:
- Early Childhood Community Team (ECCT): Community outreach, mental health consultation, and parent-child counseling services for pregnant mothers and families with young children, helping parents and care providers identify, understand, and effectively respond to their children's social-emotional needs.
- Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC): Strengthens the social-emotional development and school readiness of high-risk children from birth to age five, and supports low-income families and caregivers through mental health consultation, early intervention services, clinical services, and support for parents and caregivers on-site at subsidized childcare centers.
- Healthy Homes: Serves families with children ages 0-5 who are facing a variety of stressors in their lives by providing mental health services, parent-child activity groups, parent & father support groups, and educational workshops.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Pregnant people

A first step toward recovery for first-time offenders. This 24-hour program serves as an alternative to jail for persons arrested for driving under the influence or public intoxication. This program operates 7 days per week, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. While clients are recovering from their intoxication, counselors complete assessments that can identify substance abuse problems and interact with the clients in an open, non-judgmental, and empathetic manner.

First Chance also welcomes individuals in a crisis or non-crisis situation that are not under the influence. These individuals will receive respite, an empathetic intervention, and needed referrals

Population(s) Served
Substance abusers

FYEES provides one-on-one, strength-based case management and coaching services, in collaboration with caregivers, social workers, education liaisons and community partners, to support the academic achievement of foster youth from kindergarten through eighth grade.

The primary goal of the program is to support academic achievement. In particular, the program focuses on:
- Academic performance
- Classroom behavior
- Social and relational skills
- School engagement
- Special Education advocacy
- Enrichment/extracurricular activities

Referrals are received directly from Children and Family Services. A holistic needs assessment is completed to determine the strengths and needs of each youth and family. FYEES then addresses the youth’s needs and provides support through collaboration with caregivers, social workers, educational liaisons, school teams, and community partners.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Foster and adoptive children

StarVista’s Insights Adolescent Treatment Program offers outpatient substance abuse and mental health treatment services, which empower youth to take responsibility for the choices in their lives. Participants and staff work together to identify hopeful paths for the future and create positive changes for themselves and for their families.

Through careful assessment and case consultation, Insights offers comprehensive services that include individual, group, and family counseling sessions; case management; and parent support sessions. Participants work collaboratively with staff to identify and manage their emotions and learn about key topics such as substance abuse, mental health, healthy relationships, positive decision-making, communicating with parents, and more.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Substance abusers

The San Mateo County Pride Center -- the first ever LGBTQ+ community center in San Mateo County -- was born of the struggles and triumphs of the LGBTQ+ community over the years and stands for equity, inclusion, dignity, self-determination, and justice. Whether seeking behavioral health services or gathering in solidarity with others to share stories, build relationships, learn, grow, create, and heal together, LGBTQ+ individuals and communities throughout the Peninsula finally have a space to call their own!

Serving individuals of all ages, some of the Pride Center's many offerings include:
- Individual, group, family, and relationship counseling
- Case management
- Educational workshops and trainings for community and local organizations
- Peer groups
- Resource hub
- Events (e.g., Rainbow Kids, Legal Name and Gender Change Clinics, Trans Talks, etc.)

Population(s) Served
LGBTQ people

StarVista’s School-based Services has been providing high quality mental health services to San Mateo County students for over 10 years. The goal of this program is to support students in improving aspects of their lives that may lead to enhanced school performance and increased engagement in learning.

To accomplish this goal, we send qualified mental health clinicians to each school site and provide a myriad of services including assessment, crisis intervention, individual and group therapy, family therapy, psychoeducation, and classroom presentations, as well as extensive consultation and training with teachers, parents, administration, and other school support staff. We adapt our services to fit the unique needs of each school and San Mateo County’s diverse student population.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Children and youth, Families, LGBTQ people, Substance abusers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Results displayed are for the fiscal year (July 1 - June 30). For example, our 2020 results represent July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021.

Percentage of clients engaged in StarVista programs who achieve their primary goal

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

StarVista's mission is to deliver high impact services through counseling, skill development, and crisis prevention to kids, youth, adults and families. We offer prevention, early intervention, education, and counseling resources and services to approximately 40,000 people throughout San Mateo County, annually. From substance use and thoughts of suicide, to family violence and homelessness, we support individuals and families to access critical services and resources to address their challenges, heal from trauma and hardships, and build the lives they want to live.

Our dedicated staff provide resources, guidance, and inspiration to create opportunities for healthier, stronger, more hopeful lives. As one of the largest multi-service non-profit organizations in San Mateo County, we work closely with local governments to fill unmet needs, partner with schools to connect directly with youth, and collaborate with other non-profit organizations to share expertise and best practices. Our staff prides itself on setting a higher standard of care and being open to new, innovative approaches that improve client outcomes. All of our programs are client-focused and strength-based, and our staff are committed to continuously expanding their knowledge to ensure clients receive exceptional care.

StarVista has been in existence since 1966 and is an acknowledged leader among its peers. The agency's staff of nearly 200 is composed of seasoned leadership, clinical directors, and highly trained program personnel. StarVista's staff are passionate, reflective of San Mateo County's diverse community, and include individuals from a wide range of demographics, cultures, and life experiences. The agency's robust training infrastructure ensures staff and interns receive ongoing training to develop/maintain skills, expand knowledge, stay abreast of evolving trends and barriers, and ensure clients are receiving exceptional care. StarVista's 15-member board of directors is enthusiastic about the agency's work and actively dedicated to furthering StarVista's mission.

Additionally, the StarVista's nearly 30 programs work together to provide comprehensive support to meet each client's unique needs. For example, a young person seeking transitional housing services through StarVista's Daybreak program may also benefit from crisis intervention services at StarVista's Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Center, substance use treatment at StarVista's Insights program, or the broad spectrum of LGBTQ-centered services offered at its San Mateo County Pride Center.

StarVista also draws upon the strong base of partners and collaborators it has cultivated through its 50+ years of service to the community. The agency collaborates with an expansive network of local organizations, schools, service providers, law enforcement and city and county officials to deliver a composite of vital services that aim to fully meet the needs of our community.

Since 1966, StarVista programs have transformed the lives of children, youth, adults, families and the communities they live in. Through decades of service and growth, StarVista now offers almost 30 programs whose services span across the entirety of San Mateo County. The agency and its programs are supported through a growing list of funders and a $19M+ diversified funding base. Through nearly 200 highly trained staff, interns and volunteers, the agency now serves approximately 40,000 individuals every year.

Accomplishments over the last few years include:
- The nationwide 988 roll-out incorporating our Crisis Center, the only 24/7/365 crisis hotline in San Mateo County
- Piloting and expanding StarVista's Community Wellness and Crisis Response Team (CWCRT) program (which pairs our mental health clinicians with law enforcement to respond in person together when mental health calls arise) from operating in 4 San Mateo County cities to 12
- Launching a new specialized mobile crisis response program for youth where trained clinicians meet youth wherever they are experiencing crisis
- The 5-year anniversary of our Pride Center, the first and only county-wide LGBTQ+ center
- Introducing a new trauma-informed mental health program to meet the specific needs of Half Moon Bay individuals impacted by the 2023 Half Moon Bay shootings

Looking toward the future, StarVista will continue striving to expand services within its programs and as an agency, in addition to deepening its geological reach throughout San Mateo County and beyond.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Board of directors
as of 11/29/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Alina Lloyd

Alison Proctor

Seiler LLP

Erick Young


Ken Pesso

Retired Assistant Chief, Probation Officer

Jeneé Littrell

Student Services, San Mateo County Office of Education

Alina Lloyd

Merrill Lynch Private Banking & Investment Group

Steve Shray


Chief Eric Wollman

Retired from Burlingame Police Department

Howard Yang


Ed Barberini

San Bruno Police Department

Stephan Marshall

Coldwell Banker

Fred Shen

Abbott Vascular

Nancy Minnig


Doug Stewart

Heritage Bank of Commerce

Marilyn Thomas


Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza

West Valley College

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/1/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/17/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.