Felton Institute Celebrates 125 Years of Continuous Service at 1st Annual Kitty Felton Awards Founder Remembered with Ceremony Honoring Richard Van Horn for Outstanding Achievement in Human Services
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (October 23, 2014) ─ Award‐winning Felton Institute celebrated 125 years of uninterrupted service to low‐income and under‐served children, youth, families, adults and seniors in San Francisco on October 23, 2014, surrounded by friends and supporters.
The event took place at Minna Street Gallery in San Francisco where hundreds of guests gathered to celebrate Felton’s anniversary and participate in the Institute’s first annual Kitty Felton Awards, recognizing excellence achieved by an individual in the field of human services.
The Outstanding Achievement in Human Services award was presented to Richard Van Horn, President Emeritus and former CEO of Mental Health America of Los Angeles (MHA).
A 29‐year veteran of social service leadership and programming with a focus on treatment and recovery in mental health, Van Horn oversaw the creation of the “MHA Village,” heralded as an innovative and progressive model of mental health treatment and recovery in the United
The Village became a national example and was adopted into California’s Mental Health Services Act, after it was passed by state voters in 2004. The model combines multiple support services for adults living with mental illness, such as a place to live, work, and learn, in the same location, allowing clients to play a more integrated role among a community of peers and service providers.
The Village was the model followed by Felton Institute in designing some of its own program approaches, after CEO Bob Bennett visited the Los Angeles site with a team of program managers.
“Integrated services and comprehensive care are the most effective approaches to adult mental health recovery. We largely owe that discovery to Richard,” explains Bennett.
In addition to Van Horn, four Felton employees were honored for their dedication and 30+ years of service.
The Kitty Felton Award embodies the legacy of the Institute’s founder Katharine “Kitty” Felton who remains an impressive historical figure in San Francisco and among social service pioneers in the United States.
Director of Planning for the Human Services Agency of San Francisco and former staff member Dan Kelly spoke at the event illuminating the audience with stories about Kitty’s tireless work on behalf of disenfranchised San Franciscans living in squalor at the turn of the century.
“Katharine is the grandmother of the city’s social services,” Kelly told a rapt audience. “In 1918, she led a state‐wide ballot initiative for single payer healthcare. She was a hero during the 1906 earthquake and 1918 flu pandemic. There are many heroic stories of Kitty saving many lives in San Francisco.”
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About Felton Institute
For over 125 years, the Felton Institute has been responding to community needs by providing cutting edge, evidence‐based human services that transform lives. Felton Institute serves as the umbrella organization for a wide‐range of programs provided in San Francisco, Northern and Central California. The Institute includes Family Service Agency of San Francisco, which runs the Institute’s Children Youth and Family, Adult and Senior divisions, the award‐winning PREP (Prevention and Recovery in Early Psychosis) and BEAM (Bipolar I Early Assessment) programs, as well as a nationally‐recognized Research and Training division, which combines evidence‐based practices to address some of today’s most pressing mental health needs.