Peers at the Table – Blue Sky Letters to the Editor of the Fresno Bee

The following are letters to the editor of the Fresno Bee criticizing changes that have been implemented at Blue Sky that never got published.  We won’t be silenced, so here they are!




“I think Blue Sky should go back to being peer-led. Instead of hiring people who have lived experience with mental illness, management has hired people who have only read about mental health problems in books and are straight out of college so they don’t know how to work with our population. I am also unhappy about our services being cut. Nobody was aware that these changes would happen or had any say about the matter. Brenda from Kings View suddenly came to speak to members and said all these services are going to be shut down. She said that having meals, laundry, and shower services are all a “privilege” but everyone at Blue Sky knows that these things are NEEDED to get well. I don’t like that they are just telling us what is going to happen instead of giving us input in what happens at our wellness center.”

~Ronnie Kassis

“The people at Blue Sky are as close as my own family and I am extremely upset about our services being cut off. I am also angry that Blue Sky is no longer peer-led. I was one of two members at Blue Sky who has lived mental health experience and was hired to do peer support at the center – however, Kingsview management went back on their agreement to hire us, even after we had received our employment packets. Eventually they went on to hire someone without lived experience. I am so upset about this matter that I am considering getting a lawyer. I want Blue Sky to get back to being a peer-led center.”

~Valerie Stephens


“I don’t like the changes that are taking place at Blue Sky, especially not being able to get meals anymore. I get hungry between groups and don’t always have money to bring my own food. When I do, it gets stolen, which wasn’t a problem when they were serving to everyone. I also really liked volunteering helping out with services like laundry and showers and am sad that I can no longer do that. Please address the concerns the members of Blue Sky have about this situation.”

~Steven ?

“I am upset that the food services have been cut off at Blue Sky. I enjoyed working as a cook in the kitchen and I can no longer do that. I am a very hard worker and want to help with the food services again. Please do something about this situation.”

~Patty Blankem

“I would like the food back please because I am diabetic type 2 and need more nutrition for my blood sugar.”

~Geatana Crunk

“I would like our food resources back because it is not fair to us who have limited or no food income.”

~Andrew Martinez

“I am upset that Blue Sky no longer has lunches, showers, or laundry services.  It is a basic human right to eat!”

~Catheleen Hernandez

“The services at Blue Sky that have been cut were vital to my mental health.  Changes at Blue Sky have affected my ability to cope with my disorder.  Please bring them back!”

~Sheila Butts

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