Francesca Biffi believes everyone should have access to shelter, food and medical care, and she has spent her career helping the most vulnerable individuals access these most basic needs. She earned a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology in her home city of Rome, Italy and later a master’s degree in Social Work in the United States.
California became her second home, when she started her career as a psychiatric Social Worker at Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino County, a maximum security facility for Mentally Disordered Offenders found guilty but not guilty by reason of insanity. She then moved to Northern California and worked at San Quentin as a Clinical Social Worker helping inmates cope with mental illness and the daily stressors of prison life. Her work path brought her to State parole in Oakland where she helped parolees rebuild their lives in the community. Part of her job as a clinical social worker was to provide services to sex offenders including relapse prevention groups and mental health diagnosis and treatment.
Before joining Berkeley Food & Housing Project, she was the site supervisor for the Veterans Administration’s HUD-VASH team in Martinez, CA. Her team was part of the larger initiative of the VA in partnership with HUD to help homeless veterans receive wrap-around services and find permanent housing. BFHP’s own veteran’s program was crucial in helping her team provide veterans with supportive services.
Francesca believes that by being part of BFHP’s team and mission she can help grown her community into a place that is healthy and fair to all its citizens. She strives to always stay connected to the people that surround her including the homeless and most vulnerable, because we all depend on one another and making sure the poor and most vulnerable in our communities are given an opportunity to thrive will make everyone thrive.
When she is not at work, she loves cooking for her family and friends.