The Board of Supervisors recently approved a contract with New Earth, bringing the county one step closer to re-opening the transformed Camp Gonzales as an innovative, first-of-its-kind Vocational Training Facility.
Camp Gonzales, a former juvenile camp, is set to make the transition from a juvenile detention center to a professional training facility for young people who have experienced homelessness or come into contact with foster care or probation systems.
Through the incredible generosity of Bill Ahmanson and the Ahmanson Foundation, the existing Camp Gonzales buildings will be replaced by new residential and classroom facilities. The program includes free housing, career technical training in building, construction (pre-apprenticeship program), or food service/culinary arts, wrap-around services, life skills training, and guaranteed job placement.
The vocational and educational aspects of the program will be provided by New Earth, an organization that offers mentor-based arts, educational, and vocational programs to empower juvenile justice and system-involved youth.
“How’s that for beating swords into plowshares,” Supervisor Kuehl said.