The History of Lumina Alliance

Group picture of 8 Lumina staff members.

Sexual Assault Services

  • The first Rape Crisis Center (RCC) in San Luis Obispo County was founded in 1975 when volunteers met in parks and garages; they established bylaws and were granted nonprofit status in 1977.
  • RCC served the entire county and was the only provider of sexual assault services, establishing the first 24-hr crisis line for victims.
  • The name was changed to Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention (SARP) Center of San Luis Obispo County in 2000 to encompass the expanding programs of the organization.

Intimate Partner Violence Services

San Luis Obispo

  • In 1977, two women in Morro Bay opened up their home as a “Safe House” for victims of domestic violence.
  • The SLO shelter was established in 1996.
  • In 1982, the name was changed to the Women’s Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo to reflect the expansion of services.
  • Over the next 35 years, transitional housing units were established in SLO and Grover Beach, along with additional services and prevention programs.
  • In 2017, the Women’s Shelter Program changed its name to Stand Strong to reflect the organization’s role in the bigger conversation of dismantling domestic violence in San Luis Obispo County.

North County

  • The North County Women’s Resource Center was formed in 1982 by the dedicated members of the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
  • The name was changed to North County Women’s Shelter & Resource Center in 1994 to reflect the establishment of the first shelter in Atascadero.
  • The organization’s second shelter was established in Paso Robles in 2000.


First Merger

  • RISE was formed on January 1, 2013, when the North County Women’s Shelter & Resource Center and the Sexual Assault Recovery & Prevention Center of San Luis Obispo County merged into a new organization serving both victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as their loved ones.
  • The agency served all victims of sexual assault in the county but shared the responsibility for victims of intimate partner violence with the Women’s Shelter Program (WSP); RISE served those in North County and WSP served SLO and South County.
  • The merger was an important step in providing comprehensive services to victims of violence in our community while also consolidating administrative activities.

Final Merger

  • On July 1st, 2021 RISE & Stand Strong merged and formed Lumina Alliance.
  • The name Alianza Lumina/ Lumina Alliance was chosen as the name of the new organization for its metaphorical alignment with our mission.
  • “Lumina” is of Latin origin and means to light, to illuminate, to shine, and to enlighten. We believe the name will inspire hope and invoke feelings of safety and warmth. It is also a metaphor for our work in shining a light on the issues of sexual and intimate partner violence, which have long been kept in the dark. We hope to serve as a guiding light for our community in ending sexual assault/ abuse and intimate partner violence through innovative prevention education services.
  • “Alliance” or “Alianza” refers to the alliance of Stand Strong and RISE as we become one organization. Alliance also represents our organization’s alliance with survivors and their loved ones and with our community as we work to end gender-based violence together.
  • All locations, programs and staff were maintained during the merger.