Amidst all the excitement around the upgrade in our facility, there is also a tremendous amount of nostalgia for The Belmont house. This nostalgia hit me profoundly, as I sat packing up the reference books and trinkets from my desk. After all, it all started at the Belmont house, the lavender colored Victorian building that with that irreplaceable grandma’s house feel. It was there that with an idea and a dream, the house of healing that would become Cielo House Belmont was born.
When it opened in 2009, Cielo House Belmont was the only eating disorder day treatment program for The entire bay area south of San Francisco. In the beginning, Cielo House Belmont was the ultimate mom-and-pop shop. I ran the groups and saw the clients, my wife did the marketing. Cielo House could not have existed without Mrs. Keck. We pulled together a team of the most dedicated and skilled clinicians in the field, who all wanted to be a part of the healing community we were building.
In its first year, clients would drive from as far as Gilroy to be a part of that community that we had established. And what was started by two people with a vision and desire to heal, has turned into a program that has helped over one thousand individuals since it’s inception.
I often ask our clients what they like most about the program and the resounding consensus is that it feels like a family to them. I feel the same the way. I am so grateful to have borne witness to the incredible courage and strength that our clients have shown in their journey to recovery. I am honored that Cielo House Belmont has played a role in the rebuilding of their lives. And I am grateful to continue to have the opportunity to participate in this transformative process now at our new location in Burlingame.
The Burlingame location has some new amenities to offer. One such perk is that we have a free shuttle from the Burlingame train station for clients. This will make it easier for those coming from San Francisco or other parts of the Peninsula. The Burlingame location also offers on-site transitional housing for clients, filling a valuable need on the peninsula for a those who are working at translating their recovery into real life experience in the world. This extension of our services will help clients begin to experience how to be in the world without their eating disorder, establishing independence and self-efficacy within the safety of our treatment community.
Also, Belmont alumni will remember fondly our cozy kitchen, where if using the microwave and the toaster oven at the same time would always blow the fuse. We have a beautiful remodeled kitchen that makes our cooking group even more compelling for all. Also, Burlingame lends itself to a greater variety of community groups, so stay tuned for further announcements regarding those.
As I close the door to my office in Belmont for the last time, I am filled with much nostalgia, but also with excitement about where we’ve been and where we are going. I would like to thank everyone who has made Cielo House Belmont a home, past and present, from clients to staff to members of the local community. It was a privilege to house our home in Belmont for the past 6 years. Thank you Belmont, see ya later.