Nearly 11 years ago, Assemblymember Jerry Hill—then a member of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors—heard a banging sound coming from his garage and walked in on Mark Harvin. High on crystal meth and alcohol, the 18-year-old Harvin was burglarizing Hill’s garage to feed his habit.
After years of bouncing in and out of prison and drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, Harvin is now an assistant manager for development at Project Ninety, Inc., a San Mateo substance abuse program that he credits for saving his life. He has worked there since 2008 and has been clean for nearly five years.
Hill, a longtime supporter of Project Ninety, recently received a letter from Harvin requesting a meeting with Hill as part of his rehabilitation. On February 17, they met for the first time since their encounter in Hill’s garage. Afterward, they met with the media to talk about Project Ninety’s good work and encourage public support for the 40-year-old program.
Since it was established four decades ago with funding from San Mateo County, Project Ninety has grown from a two-bedroom apartment in San Mateo to treating alcoholics and addicts with hundreds of beds throughout the Bay Area.