Dorothy's Place logo, showing a heart within a home

Dorothy's Place

co-operating out of poverty

Chinatown Health Service Center

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  • View of the Chinatown Health Services Center, (c) Jay Dunn
    View of the Chinatown Health Services Center, (c) Jay Dunn
  • Weekly schedule of services
  • Whole Person Care nursing outside the Chinatown Health Services Center
    Whole Person Care nursing outside the CHSC
  • Chinatown Health Services Center program director Martin Alvarez
    Program director Martin Alvarez
  • Chinatown Health Services Center inspired staff
    Inspired staff
  • Chinatown Health Services Center in session
    Damian and Abram begin a session
  • Chinatown Health Services Center restroom
    Clean restrooms develop trust in our facility
  • Chinatown Health Services Center inspiration
    Chinatown Health Services Center guest inspiration
  • Chinatown Health Services Center individual secure showers
    Individual secure showers have room for a cart with belongings
  • Plaque in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Leon de Asis
    Dedicated to the homeless by Mr & Mrs Leon DeAsis

The Chinatown Health Services Center (CHSC) is operated by Dorothy’s Place in partnership with the City of Salinas. Located at 115 E. Lake Street, the CHSC offers special health services specifically for people struggling with chronic homelessness. We're able to do this through partnerships with many local service providers:

• Outpatient mental health treatment (Community Human Services)
• Addictions treatment (Community Human Services)
• Medical/dental (Clinica de Salud)
• Syringe exchange (Access Support Network)
• HIV/Hepatitis testing/treatment (Access Support Network)
• Monterey County Public Health Nursing|Whole Person Care
• Disabilities assistance (Central Coast Center for Independent Living)
• MILPA Prop 47 (felony reduction)
• MILPA Fatherhood group
• Evening medical clinics (CSU Monterey Bay)
• Monterey County Social Services General Assistance & benefits eligibility
• Monterey County Child Support Services
• Mental health outreach (Interim Inc.)

The CHSC also offers facilities for our guests and clients to use restrooms and take hot showers at no cost. Showers are individual and secure with room to change and to bring in private belongings, encouraging homeless consumers to use the facility often. This fully monitored and safe facility provides comfort and privacy to members of our community, and develops trust in clients that have been disappointed so many times in institutional settings.

The CHSC is used by our social worker staff to conduct interviews and discussions with their clients. There is classroom space used for consumer classes, staff training and community gatherings.

We are pleased and proud to partner with Monterey County Whole Person Care, a $34 million health initiative that provides carefully coordinated health care and social service supports for homeless clients that have become high utilizers of emergency and inpatient hospital systems. This newly developed "street nursing" model uses public health nursing teams with medical and psychiatric expertise coupled with our social workers to provide coordinated care that includes outreach and assistance into permanent, sustainable housing for our most vulnerable clients. 

Hours: 24-hour every day, except for brief closures for maintenance.

To learn more about these services, or become a supporter, watch the video or click on the corresponding button below.  

Being Homeless in the City of Salinas and Monterey County


  • On January 28, 2015, 867 homeless people were counted in the City of Salinas as part of the Monterey County Homeless Census and Survey, an increase of 63% since 2013.
  • The homeless population in the rest of Monterey County has decreased since 2013 by 30%.
  • 73% of people who are homeless in Salinas are unsheltered, meaning they live on the street, in abandoned buildings, in vehicles, or in encampments. That is 7% more than the homeless in the rest of Monterey County.
  • Young homeless women are four to 31 times more likely to die early as housed young women. The average life expectancy in the homeless population is estimated between 42 and 52 years, compared to 78 years in the general population.


The principal causes of food insecurity (living in constant fear of not being able to feed oneself or one’s family) in the United States are:

  • Unemployment
  • High housing costs
  • Low wages and poverty
  • Lack of access to food stamps
  • Medical or health costs

The homeless rank good health, a steady job, income, and housing above obtaining food, which are all of those same factors mentioned above that are causes of food insecurity.

Hunger causes:

  • Impaired concentration, reduced alertness and comprehension, and poor judgment
  • Gastrointestinal distress, dizziness, headaches, reduced strength, and poor motor control
  • Significant increases in social introversion, irritability, anxiety, anger, and depression

Mental Illness and Addiction

For many homeless people, substance abuse co-occurs with mental illness. Often, people with untreated mental illnesses use street drugs as an inappropriate form of self-medication. Many programs for homeless people with mental illnesses do not accept people with substance abuse disorders, and many programs for homeless substance abusers do not treat people with mental illnesses.

  • 29% with drug or alcohol abuse
  • 28% with psychiatric or emotional conditions
  • 17% with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • 8% with traumatic brain injury

Successful supported housing programs include outreach and engagement workers, a variety of flexible treatment options to choose from, and services to help people reintegrate into their communities.


Two trends are largely responsible for the rise in homelessness over the past 20-25 years: a growing shortage of affordable rental housing and a simultaneous increase in poverty. Homelessness and poverty are inextricably linked. Poor people are frequently unable to pay for housing, food, childcare, health care, and education. If you are poor, you are essentially an illness, an accident, or a paycheck away from living on the streets.

Number of people living below poverty level (US Census 2010):

  • 15.4% of the people in the United States
  • 15.9% of the people in California
  • 17% of the people in Monterey County
  • 21% of the people in Salinas

Declining wages have put housing out of reach for many workers: in every state, more than minimum wage is required to afford a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent. In the 2008 Conference of Mayors report, 11 out of 19 cities reported an increase in employed homeless people.

Sponsorship Opportunities

We are seeking social justice and health justice minded sponsors for the operation of the Chinatown Health Services Center.

Franciscan Workers (Dorothy’s Place) is the coordinating agent for services in the Chinatown Health Services Center, a partnership between the City of Salinas and Franciscan Workers of Junipero Serra. We facilitate use of the Center for all agencies providing services there, but we also ourselves provide case managers, clinical supervision, a facility manager, and the restroom and shower staff. Although we have some initial grant funding and an agreement with Shoreline Workforce Development (that will subsidize part of the restroom/shower staff), we must seek sponsorships and fundraise annually to ensure the operation of the Center.

Please consider the following sponsorship opportunities, which come with sponsor recognition in the facility, but also know that any size sponsorship is appreciated!

You can sponsor, for one year:

  • Program manager - $40,000
  • Case manager - $29,000
  • Clinical supervisor - $20,000
  • Hire of a client onto the restroom/shower staff - $14,500
  • Sanitation supplies - $10,000

Facility Floor-Plan and Naming Opportunities

Chinatown Health Service Center Investor Naming Opportunities

Floor plan: Chinatown Health Service Center Investor Naming Opportunities

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Multi-Purpose Training Room

Floor plan: Multi-Purpose Training Room

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Four Out-Patient Treatment/Counseling Rooms

Floor plan: Four Out-Patient Treatment/Counseling Rooms

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Welcome Center

Floor plan: Welcome Center

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Hygiene Center

Fllor plan: Hygiene Center

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Shower Center

Floor plan: Shower Center

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Towel Laundry

Floor plan: Towel Laundry

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Secure Night Entry

Floor plan: Secure Night Entry

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Drinking Water Fill-up Station

Floor plan: Drinking Water Fill-up Station

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