Community Assistance Recovery Enterprise (CARE)

Vong Chang, ASW, Program Director

Merced County

Witnessing change and transformation in peoples' lives that at one point seemed doubtful, hopeless and virtually impossible is what keeps me going.
— Vong Chang, Program Director

Merced County's Community Assistance Recovery Enterprise (CARE) provides comprehensive mental health, supported housing, and employment services to those in recovery from mental illness, homelessness and possible co-occurring substance abuse disorders. CARE includes bilingual staff who are fluent in Spanish and Hmong.

Emphasizing “housing first” and development of employment and educational opportunities, CARE will collaborate with other agencies to be sure Turning Point Community Program members receive “whatever it takes” to integrate homeless mentally ill back into the community.

Merced CARE staffs a Housing Coordinator (HC) who works with clients directly in acquiring and maintaining housing. The HC assists with rent, leases, working with housing services/landlords, as well as helping to complete rental applications and credit check references. The Coordinator also provides linkages to assist in the formulation of a personal budget that includes rent, utilities, food, and transportation at the time housing is secured.

The CARE program is also designed to reach transition age youth, between the ages of 18-25, who may have children. There is also an emphasis to reach out to the underserved Hispanic population in Merced County.

Please call Merced County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (209) 381-6800 for a screening to be referred to our program.


Phone: (209) 723-6559

Address: 627 W. Main Street, Merced, CA 95340

In 2011-12 CARE…

  • served 67 mentally ill homeless in Merced County.

Since 2006 CARE has provided…

  • Crisis intervention
  • Employment Services
  • Housing
  • Linkages to community
  • Psychiatric services
I'm finally off conservatorship after fifteen years and now I'm ready to be independent and live in my own apartment

— Turning Point CARE Member

Merced County Mental Health held their first annual BBQ cookoff and CARE won! Vong Chang and Dr. Isabel Manuel are in front.