DFAD Project Update: CHAC Part One

DFAD projects range in size, scope, and timeframe, but one thing that doesn’t change is the team’s dedication to beautiful, functional spaces. The CHAC DFAD project in Mountain View, California was no different, and experienced quite the overhaul during their DFAD project, creating spaces that worked for both the employees and the visitors. But what’s happened in the space since the DFAD project concluded, and how is the space working for everyone?

In two weeks of fabulous project updates, we’re checking with the Community Health Awareness Council, or CHAC to see how things are going. CHAC is a community based mental health agency serving the North Santa Clara County area. The organization improves the lives in the communities served through access to comprehensive and culturally responsible mental health services.

About CHAC

CHAC has been in business for 48 years and began when a group of moms came together to protect their teens from the negative impacts of substance abuse. Since then, the organization has been driven by the belief that mental wellness is the foundation for a healthy and fulfilled life. Focusing on early intervention and prevention, CHAC provides continued care and builds healthy, resilient, and supportive communities. CHAC operates completely on a sliding scale, declining services for no one.

CHAC Staff

CHAC has a staff of over fifty people and clinicians. In addition to that staff range from 75-85 clinicians and counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists providing counseling services and group services. The staff also supports mental health needs in 35 schools and 4 school districts. CHAC serves more than 14,000 people per year and has specialty services for the Latinx community and the LGBTQ+ community, as well as for their substance abuse clinic.

When it comes to families, CHAC has a strong family resource center. They work with kids ages 0-5 alongside families to help get them off to the right start with early and preventive mental health measures. And, all ages are welcome. Their foundation has always been around youth and families, but the organization has served anyone from 2 years old to 93 years old.

What Spaces Were Updated During the Project?

CHAC has a 7500 sq foot building on two floors, meaning that the scope of the project was one of the largest. The areas remodeled included the welcome and reception area, the kid’s area, the conference room, a kitchen, a consulting space, exterior landscaping, an intern area, and the training room.

In this post, we’ll reveal the before and after of the lobby and waiting area including a space for kids, a new panel wall, and the kitchen. Each space has a unique look and feel and contributes to the inviting feeling that CHAC now offers.

On the first floor, the most important area is the welcome and reception area. Here’s a quick look at what it originally looked like.

During the DFAD update, they changed walls, revamped offices, and recreated the entrance and the waiting area where a client comes in for service. There’s new furniture, new paint, new flooring, and an overall new feel to the space. People are welcomed into the warmth of the area now.

Marsha Deslauriers, Exeutive Director, was thrilled to see the new space. She said, “When the clients now come in, it’s just so beautiful it’s hard to explain how beautiful it is. There’s new carpeting, new furniture, beautiful paintings. They took artwork done by our artists and integrated it into the project. The waiting area is top-notch, its like any facility you would go in and pay money for service.

They put up a living wall which is beautiful and organic because they really understood that natural environments calm people down. There’s a lot of natural product wood in shelving and tables that were there. There’s beautiful seating and plants.

The wall that separates the corridor took a whole weekend of very talented gentleman. It’s like plexiglass but inside is ferns and greenery, so that was gorgeous. There’s also a section for kids there which is sort of off to the side that has this black and white wallpaper. They even got donations for iPads so kids can play while waiting for their parents. Really cool stools, bright colors – it says you belong here, and you matter.”

While there wasn’t a huge budget for the kitchen, it also wasn’t forgotten. Take a look at how a quick update to the paint brightens the space and makes it feel fun and inviting. It’s truly amazing how much a coat of paint can change a space.

Stay tuned to see our next CHAC project update, where we’ll reveal the photos of the conference room, the landscaping, the training room, the “village well,” the intern area, and brand-new flooring solutions. We promise you won’t be disappointed!