Individuals Now Inc., operating under the name Social Advocates for Youth (SAY), offers youth services in Sonoma, California. Most of SAY’s revenue is derived from government funding. 1 In 2022, one of SAY’s former directors was arrested for embezzlement. 2
Social Advocates for Youth was founded in 1970 by several prominent members of Sonoma County, including Superior Court Judge John Moskowitz and wealthy Republican philanthropist Henry Trione. Since its founding, SAY has primarily offered people under age 25 short- and long-term housing and career and mental health services. 3
SAY’s 20-member board is currently headed by Tina Wallis, an environmental and land use lawyer involved in a failed 867-unit development project in Santa Rosa. 4 The board also includes Santa Rosa City Council member Mark Stapp. 5
Social Advocates for Youth operates three main facilities in Santa Rosa, California: the SAY Finley Dream Center, the Dr. Coffee Teen Shelter, and Tamayo Village. SAY Finley Dream Center offers temporary/long term housing and career counseling for 18–24-year-olds. 6 The center opened in a donated former hospital building in 2015 despite fierce opposition from community residents. 7 The Dr. Coffee Teen Shelter offers temporary housing for youths aged 12-17. 8 Tamayo Village (named for the Tamayo family of Santa Rosa’s La Tortilla Factory) offers transitional housing for young adults aged 18-24. 9
SAY offers a variety of counseling services for youth up to age 25. Services include individual therapy, family therapy, and school-based mental health counseling in Sonoma County schools. 10 SAY also operates the Clean Slate Tattoo Removal Program and a telehealth grief support program. 11
In late 2022, the Santa Rosa Police Department arrested the former SAY Director of Youth Crisis and Career Services, Lisa Fatu, for allegedly embezzling at least $53,000 from the organization. Police also arrested a woman living with Fatu whom they suspect was aware of and benefitting from the embezzlement. 12 Fatu had been previously featured as one of North Bay Business Journal’s Forty under 40 young professionals in 2019. 13 Her first court appearance was rescheduled for February 2023. 14
At the 2018 symposium, keynote speaker Renata Moriera pushed for more LGBT programs in public schools, saying “We are still not present in early ed literature. We are still not present in the institution that mostly impact(s) all of us and all our kids: K through 12 education.” LGBT children’s book author Maya Gonzalez told attendees that “the children’s literature industry would need to produce hundreds more books by and about LGBTQ people each year in order to achieve adequate representation” and handed out copies of her book that introduces children to “gender-inclusive pronouns.” The event also featured a presentation called “Queer Family Building Overview” by Sara Flores, who is described as a “Mestiza Mujer Midwife that has been providing health, wellness, and birth care to Masculine of Center Queer, Trans, non-binary, and Two Spirit people, primarily Black, Brown, and Indigenous people, for decades.” 17 18
The 2019 LGBTQI Family Formation Symposium featured a “Drag Queen Story Hour” for children. 19
In the fiscal year ending June 2020, government funding in the amount of $4.8 million comprised over 60 percent of SAY’s revenue, with federally funded expenditures totaling over $1.4 million. 20
In the fiscal year ending in June 2021, SAY’s government-derived income increased by almost $500,000, and its federal grant expenditures increased to $2.4 million. 21 SAY also received a $911,178 PPP loan in 2020 that was ultimately forgiven. 22
SAY also receives donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations. SAY’s foundation/corporate partners include Facebook, the AmazonSmile Foundation, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, and the Kaiser Permanente Foundation. 23
- “Audit for Period Ending June 2020.” ProPublica, 2022. Accessed December 22, 2022. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_audit/11931920202.
- Barber, Phil. “Santa Rosa Nonprofit Social Advocates for Youth Alleges Employee Embezzled More than $75,000.” The Press Democrat. July 14, 2022. Accessed December 23,2022. https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/santa-rosa-nonprofit-social-advocates-for-youth-alleges-employee-embezzled/.
- “History & Core Values.” Social Advocates For Youth. Accessed December 22, 2022. https://www.saysc.org/about/history/.
- Morris, J.D. “Sonoma County Cancels 867-Housing-Unit Real Estate Deal in Santa Rosa.” North Bay Business Journal. October 18, 2018. Accessed December 22, 2022. https://www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/article/industry-news/sonoma-county-cancels-867-housing-unit-real-estate-deal-in-santa-rosa/.
- Our Team.” Social Advocates For Youth. Accessed December 22, 2022. https://www.saysc.org/about/our-team/.
-  Payne, Paul. “Social Advocates for Youth Marks Grand Opening of Dream Center for at-Risk Youth.” The Press Democrat. March 12, 2016. Accessed December 22, 2022. https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/social-advocates-for-youth-marks-grand-opening-of-dream-center-for-at-risk/.
- McCallum, Kevin. “Youth Housing Facility Plan Stirs Passions.” The Press Democrat. January 19, 2014. Accessed December 22, 2022. https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/youth-housing-facility-plan-stirs-passions/.
- “Social Advocates for Youth Receives $200,000 Grant for Teen Shelter.” Sonoma County Gazette, October 19, 2021. Accessed December 22, 2022. https://www.sonomacountygazette.com/sonoma-county-news/social-advocates-for-youth-receives-200000-grant-for-teen-shelter/.
- “Tamayo Village.” Social Advocates For Youth. Accessed December 22, 2022. https://www.saysc.org/programs/tamayo-village/.
- “Counseling.” Social Advocates For Youth. Accessed December 22, 2022. https://www.saysc.org/counseling/.
- “SAY Grief Services.” Social Advocates For Youth. Accessed December 22, 2022. https://www.saysc.org/programs/say-grief-services/.
- “Former Say Employee Arrested for Embezzlement along with Roommate.” KSRO. September 30, 2022. Accessed December 22, 2022. https://www.ksro.com/2022/09/30/former-say-employee-arrested-for-embezzlement-along-with-roommate/.
- “Meet Social Advocates for Youth’s Lisa Fatu, One of North Bay Business Journal’s 2019 Forty Under 40.” North Bay Business Journal. April 19, 2019. Accessed December 30, 2022. www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/article/industry-news/meet-social-advocates-for-youths-lisa-fatu-one-of-north-bay-business-jour/.
- Atagi, Colin. “Court Date for Ex-Santa Rosa Nonprofit Director Accused of Embezzlement Rescheduled.” The Press Democrat. December 13, 2022. Accessed December 22, 2022. https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/ex-santa-rosa-nonprofit-director-accused-of-embezzlement-to-return-to-court/.
- North Bay LGBTQI Family Formation Symposium. Events.com. January 30, 2017. Accessed December 22, 2022. https://discover.events.com/us/california/santa-rosa/e/leisure/north-bay-lgbtqi-family-formation-symposium-social-195859501.
- Carnivele, Gary. “LGBTQI Parents Schedule Second Annual Family Symposium on Jan. 28.” We The People, December 15, 2017. Accessed December 22, 2022. https://www.gaysonoma.com/2017/12/lgbtqi-parents-schedule-second-annual-family-symposium-on-jan-28/.
- “Santa Rosa event brings families together to discuss LGBTQ-inclusive classrooms.” The Press Democrat. January 28, 2018. Accessed December 22, 2022. https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/santa-rosa-event-brings-families-together-to-discuss-lgbtq-inclusive-classr/.
- Wehman-Brown, Grover. “E6: A Super Fierce Stance: An Interview with Midwife Sara Flores-Boudreaux.” Masculine Birth Ritual. January 8, 2019. Accessed December 22, 2022. https://www.masculinebirthritual.com/post/a-super-fierce-stance-an-interview-with-midwife-sara-flores-boudreaux.
- “Third Annual LGBTQI Family Symposium: Sonoma County LGBTQI Pride.” Sonoma County Pride. March 12, 2019. Accessed December 22, 2022. https://www.sonomacountypride.org/event/third-annual-lgbtqi-family-symposium/.
- “2019–20 Report to Investors.” Social Advocates for Youth. Accessed December 23, 2022. https://www.saysc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Report-to-Investors-2019.20.pdf.
- “Audit for Period Ending June 2021.” ProPublica. Accessed December 23, 2022. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_audit/11931920211.
- “Individuals Now, Inc. – Tracking PPP.” ProPublica. Accessed December 23, 2022. https://projects.propublica.org/coronavirus/bailouts/loans/individuals-now-inc-9812057103.
- 2020–21 Report to Investors.” Social Advocates for Youth. Accessed December 23, 2022. https://www.saysc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/SAY_AR_2020_21.pdf.