BOSS was created in 1971 to help individuals with severe and persistent mental illness who had become displaced because of public hospital closures. Programs and services expanded over the past five decades to include services for unhoused, disabled, and low-income individuals, families, and neighborhoods in Alameda County. In 2013, executive leadership expanded the mission and began developing solutions for mass incarceration and violence in the community as unaddressed crises stemming from racially biased policies and systemic inequities.