The grace of God led me to create this organization. It is built on Faith as its foundation. As ex-felons ourselves, we can reach people of our community to help guide them through the process of re-entry.
As an ex-convict and gang member it was the creation of Saved by Grace, through my Lord Jesus, that gave me a new life. Therefore, I understand and believe in the need of Faith to be included as part of the foundation for recovering individuals.
I was given the opportunity to go back into the correction facilities that I once walked through and to bring hope to
Our reentry process starts from the inside out – both spiritually and physically. We go into jails and prisons and spend time with inmates to find out their needs and barriers. We build a re-entry plan with them, not for them. We become a part of the support system for inmates and for family members who have also been affected by the incarceration.
Pastor Ronnie Muniz,
Founder & Executive Director
A recognized leader in faith-based supportive services, Pastor Ronnie Muniz has worked tirelessly to help the homeless, youth and formerly incarcerated people of San Francisco. For the last fourteen years, while holding down a full-time job to pay the bills, Ronnie volunteered evenings and weekends to help his brothers and sisters in need.
As an ex-felon, former gang member and former drug dealer, Ronnie knows what it takes to turn a life around. After his release from prison in 1989, he worked with the Real Alternative Program in San Francisco in gang prevention. Dedicated to helping young people avoid his pitfalls, he became a gang prevention coordinator with the San Francisco Mayors Office Gang Prevention Program. As a gang prevention coordinator and youth advocate with the Bernal Heights Community Center, he facilitated groups on anger management and life skills, and created a men’s group for gang prevention at the Portrero Hill YMCA.
Ronnie’s work with juveniles includes his role as a Juvenile Hall Commissioner, where he oversaw operations. He also volunteered for the SF Focus Program providing classes in life skills and anger management. Ronnie offers the services of Saved by Grace in Youth Rallies around the city to support young people and reduce recidivism and facilitates programs in criminal and addictive thinking, anger management, life skills and relapse prevention in Juvenile Hall, and as requested by the courts.
Ronnie brought to bear his own experience with incarceration in his re-entry case management work at Walden House, Jelani House and Baker Place. He was a member of the San Francisco Mayors Office Re-entry Council working to develop programs and wrap around services. At the Portrero Hill YMCA, he was a men’s group facilitator and worked as a case manager and job developer for people coming out of jail and prison. He takes referrals for case management from San Francisco Parole, San Francisco Probation, San Francisco Juvenile Hall and San Quentin State Prison. A member of the Mentoring Men’s Movement, Ronnie helps to create healthier and safer communities by providing guidance and support to the incarcerated, previously incarcerated and others who are clearly striving to improve their lives.
Ronnie has worked with the homeless of San Francisco at the Hamilton Family Shelter and Homeless Prenatal. In his support of victims of violence, he was part of the SF Community Response Network Council bringing services and support to the families of victims of violence.
“Throughout my life I have made some good and bad decisions, but through it all I truly believe God had, and still has, His hand on my life.” Pastor Ronnie Muniz
Board of Directors
Mitchell Salazar started using his organizing skills at the age of 16 by producing Youth & Young Adult dances called, “Mitchell Salazar Presents You & I”. Between 1978 and 1982, the dances were offered monthly and focused on the Oldies but Goodies theme. Presented in the Mission District of San Francisco, they coincided with the Low Rider and Boulevard Nights movies in the late 1970s.
By 1980, at the age of 18, Mitch had a PhD in Streetology from the School of Hard Knocks and was recruited as a Youth Organizer for the Real Alternatives Program (RAP). The community based youth organization, located in the Mission District of San Francisco, advocates for youth in the areas of social justice, youth empowerment, and institutionalization change for children, youth and families impacted by poverty. During his twenty-year career at RAP, Mitch worked in a variety of positions, including as the Executive Director for fifteen years.
Since then, Mitch has been a Fellow with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Director or Community Based Programs for the San Francisco Attorney Generals Office, Workforce Development Director for Mission Neighborhood Centers and is currently the Manager of Apprenticeship Programs for the City and County of San Francisco.
Gaynor brings a passionate commitment to serving low income and under represented populations to the Board. She began her career, at the age of fourteen, as a peer educator in the SF Mayor’s office. By the time she was seventeen, Gaynor had worked for three Mayors and was advanced to Case Manager for Violence Intervention & Prevention.
After moving to Sacramento she worked in violence prevention, gang and turf violence, and breaking the stigmas around taboo topics, such as mental health and wellness.
Upon returning to the Bay Area, Gaynor continued her work with non-profits that support people in the most vulnerable neighborhoods in San Francisco. As a Pacific Islander, Gaynor saw that her people were in dire need of assistance in the area of mental health. She became an advocate and activist for improved mental health care.
Currently, Gaynor holds the position of Intensive Case Manager for Carecen, a non-profit that empowers and responds to the needs, rights, and aspirations of Latino, immigrant, and under-resourced families in the San Francisco Bay Area, building community leadership to pursue equity and justice.
She graduated from Balboa High School and received a degree as a Medical Specialist Associate. Gaynor enjoys spending time her family, offering healing circles and is the volunteer coordinator for San Francisco’s Carnival.
Diana worked for many years in the non-profit sector, both the environmental and educational fields. As the Major Gifts Associate at the Environmental Defense Fund in New York she specialized in major donor fund raising and special events. Most recently, she was the Director of Development at the Coral Reef Alliance in San Francisco, responsible for major gifts and overseeing the grant writing, direct mail, major gifts, special events and publications departments.
Currently, Diana is a co-founder of the Employment Readiness Seminars program at San Quentin State Prison. She developed a ten-week curriculum to prepare inmates to find jobs after re-entry. In addition to classwork, inmates meet potential employers when they come into the prison. Diana also volunteers with two other San Quentin programs, the California Re-entry Program and Veterans Healing Veterans.
In her free time Diana enjoys her two teenage daughters, gardening, hiking and her six pet chickens. Diana has B.A. in Psychology, an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University in New York and is a Certified Life Coach. She joined the Board in 2016 and brings expertise in the areas of non-profit development, Board development and re-entry job readiness.
Carlos grew up in the Mission District of San Francisco. By the age of 13 he had been witness to much violence and at the age of 17 was arrested for possession of a weapon. With the help of the Real Alternatives Program through the Youth Guidance Center Carlos was able to turn his life around. He began as an intern in the program and was then hired as a counselor.
While putting himself through college, Carlos discovered his passion for the arts and used his talent in painting as outreach in gang youth. After graduating, he was hired as a probation officer at the Youth Guidance Center. Since 1992 he has been giving back to the community and supporting youth at the very place that helped him turn his life around.
DeAndre joined the Board in 2015 and brings expertise in the areas of community based nonprofits, substance abuse counseling for youth and in-custody case management.
He started his career at the age of eighteen as an advocate for victims impacted by gun violence in the Visitation Valley area. De Andre was then blessed with an opportunity to work with the incarcerated population focused on 18-30 years olds at San Bruno County jail. He also worked with Five Keys Charter School to develop a program pod focusing on substance abuse, education and life skills that inmates can utilize upon release.
Since 2012, DeAndre has been working as a youth substance abuse counselor for 12-20 year old boys to support and mentor them in juvenile hall and many schools through out San Francisco.
DeAndre holds an Associates Degree City College in San Francisco. He earned a California Drug and Alcohol Certificate and a Mental Health Certificate from City College in San Francisco. He is enjoys spending time with family, building things, reading, studying, backpacking, marathon running, cycling, adventure travel, writing, painting, cooking, and documentary film.
George brings over thirty years of criminal justice experience to the Board. Currently, he is a Program Coordinator with the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department and is responsible for coordinating inmate programs in the county jail, and promoting and maintaining liaisons and networks with community organizations and city departments.
George also collaborates with adult probation and the Five Keys Charter School to ensure effective management of the Reentry Pod at the San Francisco County jail. He developed a mentoring program with community and faith-based organizations that provides support for in inmates while they are still in custody.
As CEO of the Mentoring Men’s Movement, George helps to create healthy and safe communities by providing guidance and support to men who have been previously incarcerated and seek to change their lives to become productive members of their communities.
George is the Founder and Director of ”STARTRAC” a certified Batterer’s intervention Program; co-founder of “The Healing Circle for the Soul Support Group” which was designed to support families who have lost members to homicide; and he has collaborated with the “No More Tears” program at San Quentin State prison to develop a curriculum for the criminal justice system and community based programs that practice Restorative Justice Principles