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Unity Care Welcomes Sheila E. Mitchell as Chief Executive Officer to Drive Next Phase of Growth

Non-profit Focused on Transition-Age Foster Youth Brings on Veteran to Continue Strategic Growth

SAN JOSE, Calif., July 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Unity Care, a San Jose-based nonprofit organization that provides housing and services for transition-age foster youth with a focus on communities of color, announced today that Sheila Mitchell has joined the company as CEO, effective as of July 11, 2022. In this role, she will lead the organization to continue to deliver on its 5-year strategic growth plan with a focus on mental health and housing. Mitchell succeeds André Chapman, who will move into the Founder’s role on August 14th – exactly 29 years to the day that Unity Care accepted its first youth into its housing program. His role as Founder will focus on fundraising, advocacy and changing the foster care system into places of healing. The appointment of Mitchell, a 20+ year veteran in public sector and restorative justice, highlights Unity Care’s commitment to support under-served youth during a critical time in their lives as they transition out of the foster care system.

Sheila E. Mitchell, CEO Unity Care

"I am delighted to embark on this next exciting chapter in my career with Unity Care. I am deeply grateful and blessed to have an opportunity to serve as Unity Care’s Chief Executive Officer,” said Mitchell. “I look forward to working with staff, our young adults and community partners to ensure that our clients receive the best possible care and service.”

Mitchell is a senior executive with more than 20 years of experience in leadership development, executive coaching and mentoring, systems reengineering, project management, strategic planning and balanced and restorative justice. Prior to her position as Deputy Chief of Probation in Los Angeles County, she served as Chief Operating Officer of Unity Care and former Chief of Probation Santa Clara County. Mitchell has consulted with Canadian Pacific, Los Angeles and Alameda County Probation Departments, Cayman Islands, and Jamaicans for Justice, and has presented papers and workshops on creative and innovative proven approaches to system transformation. Under her leadership, Santa Clara County, CA was one of the first counties in the Country to develop a comprehensive policy for LGBTQ individuals involved in the criminal justice system.

Mitchell was also the chief architect responsible for the implementation of a major prison realignment endeavor to improve education outcomes for Santa Clara County adult probationers and parolees, with a key focus on reintegration back to the community. She has been recognized as one of the 100 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley, California by the San Jose Business Journal and is an American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including the NAACP Cesar Chavez Social Justice Leadership Award and the Santa Clara County, California Superior Court Distinguished Service Award for her commitment and transformative work in social justice.

“Unity Care is singularly focused on housing and supportive services based on the data, ensuring no young person leaves foster care to a life of homelessness,” Andre Chapman said. “I’m very proud of our accomplishments and excited about the future ahead under the leadership of Sheila E. Mitchell, a trailblazer in our space.” 

Since its inception, Unity Care has grown from a staff of 1 to more than 200, serving 7,500 youth and families per year. The company now operates 24 homes and 23 programs across eight counties. In February 2022, Unity Care graduated from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation’s (EMCF) PropelNext initiative as a data driven learning organization and has launched a new 5-Year Strategic Plan that lays the roadmap for future growth. These two major milestones provide for an exciting future ahead. 

“As I reflect on my 29-year journey, I am humbled by the thousands of amazing staff, board members, volunteers, donors and partners who all believed in Unity Care’s commitment and passion for serving our foster care community,” said Chapman. “Unity Care has been blessed with some of the most committed, passionate and talented professionals who do their utmost day after day to promote the welfare of the children and youth entrusted in our care. The faces of the youth, their stories, their traumas, their pain and their joy and celebrations are forever embedded in my soul.” 

For more information, visit www.unitycare.org.

About the Unity Care Group
Founded in 1993, we transform the lives of young people in and emerging from foster care by providing stable housing, caring connections, and life skills that build a foundation to achieve their potential. Unity Care provides supportive housing in nine Northern California counties, delivering culturally proficient and trauma-informed services centered on Unity Care’s “5 Pillars of Success” – HOUSING, EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT, WELL-BEING, and UNCONDITIONAL CARE. Unity Care is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA). To learn more about Unity Care visit www.unitycare.org.

Contact: Alena Schultz / Unity Care
Phone: (408) 828-9690
Email: [email protected]

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/29cfa917-74b5-4a2e-9d45-4de826949d11