William Portillo, Founder of Prevención y Rescate (Prevention and Rescue) began his vision of this organization upon having a conversion experience. His great yearning to become an agent of change, led to the creation of a Catholic “Street Ministry” (Ministerio de Calles) at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in 1991 for those involved in gangs, drugs, and alcohol and their families. Mr. Portillo and others evangelized through the word of God and promoted spirituality to bring healing and as a positive alternative to self-destruction.

In November 1998, this ministry officially became known as Prevención y Rescate. After 11 years of evangelization work, Mr. Portillo saw the dire need to not only work on a spiritual level, but also incorporate emotional support via bilingual rehabilitation and counseling services for the entire family unit. Thus he obtained his drug and alcohol certification and with the help of Monsignor, Jarlath Cunnane, then pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle, Prevención y Rescate was established as a non-profit in March 2002 and gradually began providing prevention and rehabilitation services and programs.