Mission for the Homeless

                         a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charitable corporation benefitting Oakland's homeless

Ongoing Project

Intervening to help people in danger on the streets

 We help people find emergency care, and have benefited over the years by a continuing relationship with the professionals who staff Alameda County’s medical and social services: doctors, nurses and social workers at Highland Hospital, for instance. The downtown Oakland Mobile Crisis Team responds to requests from the Oakland Police Department, other agencies and individuals for assistance with mental health evaluations of adults in the community.  St. Mary’s Center in West Oakland helps place the homeless in housing and provides a Winter Shelter of their own. We often rely on the Oakland Police Department itself in an emergency situation. Other important resources include the Center for Independent Living a services and advocacy organization run by and for people with disabilities with offices in Oakland and Berkeley; and Operation Dignity, Inc. support services for veteran families, offering transitional and permanent housing as well as a mobile outreach team that is instrumental in helping the homeless vet in a crisis situation.

Care continues for those struggling with mental and physical distress by assisting them into shelters, and medical facilities like Highland Hospital and John George Psychiatric Pavilion a psychiatric emergency services department both for voluntary and involuntary  "5150" admissions, with inpatient units for longer term psychiatric holds. Substance abuse programs like Cherry Hill Sobering & Detox Center in nearby San Leandro, are also helpful.

Each person has unique needs

Each person has unique needs, depending on their individual problem set, and we try to meet them. Many have mental problems or drug addictions, sometimes both. Tom, for instance, is a Vietnam vet who is bipolar and evicted three times; this makes it very difficult for him to find housing when a background check is performed. Unable to get off the streets he would periodically spiral into a deep depression and have to be hospitalized at John George Psychiatric Pavilion. We were able to find a room in a house where he stayed for five months, and then another where he stayed for two more months. His erratic behavior fueled by his occasional drug use and bipolar problems has made a stable living situation difficult for him to achieve. He has now moved to San Francisco and we haven’t heard from him in the past two months. Not every outcome is perfect, but at least we were able to get him off the streets, if only temporarily.   


Sandra is an ex-heroin addict whose prior convictions have made the housing application process difficult for her. But even more troubling, she was in a car accident several years ago that left one leg shorter than the other. She can walk but spends most of her time in a wheelchair. She receives a disability check but has been homeless on an off for the past several years. Using housing lists provided by the Center for Independent Living and Eastmont Mall-Alameda County Social Services we were recently able to find her an apartment, and we visit her several times a month to check on how she is doing.


Recently, we helped a veteran in a wheelchair who has no legs just below the knees. We originally provided him with a tarp for the rains coming in the next few days, as he lived in a homeless camp by the freeway. It sometimes takes time to gain a person’s trust before they’ll allow you to help them. In our attempts to get him off the streets, we contacted Operation Dignity and eventually he agreed to go to the Veterans Administration in Palo Alto. Over the next few days, they were able to help him clean-up, gave him new clothes and placed him in a San Jose rehab center called Little Orchard. He told us he was determined to stay off the streets, and we hope he is successful.


Paul is 63 years old, lived at the Oakland Hotel for five years and has been homeless for the past couple months. Recently he wasn't  able to stand when he woke in the morning. He finally agreed to go to Summit Hospital where the doctors diagnosed severe arthritis aggravated by the cold nights outdoors. They transferred him to the Fruitvale Healthcare Center where we hope he will stay to have his health problems dealt with.  Update: Paul likes the Fruitvale Center and is happy there.


Kietly told us his brother brought him water every afternoon and that his case worker, Kathy, was looking for housing,
 but he was defecating in his bedding, urinating on himself, and not able to stand without help. The Crisis Response
 Team sent him to Highland hospital where doctors discovered a large burn, up and down his side, possibly caused
by a cigarette fire. He is being held on a 5150 for 72 hours, but we are unable to track his progress and speak
to a hospital social worker on his behalf so that he won't be re-released
 to this doorway due to patient confidentiality.


One of our volunteers, Dave, is trying to help Gregg get off the streets,
worrying that he won't make it through another Winter.      October 2016


Lamont couldn't stand up, he was urinating and defecating on himself, and had several other health issues. Our volunteers, Crystal and Alex, took him to the hospital which started a relationship with social workers. Update: Lamont's health issues have been addressed, he is walking with his walker, in housing and off the streets. December 2016



This is Lilly...Lilly is a really special person. She was hit by a bus and thrown across the street. When she opened her eyes, she saw the paramedics. Lilly has been off the streets for about a year, she has been sober for about the same. She is mostly wheelchair bound because of the bus accident.

visit our two Facebook (second Facebook) pages

videos on YouTube

we also have two GoFundMe (second GoFundMe) sites
to raise funds for our many projects helping the homeless


Photos from a community event held by Mission for the Homeless in downtown Oakland.


First Sundays of each month, Lafayette Square park, 3-6 p.m.

foot & healthcare checkups provided by San Francisco Bay Area Missions

meal provided by the Greek Orthodox Christian Community of Oakland


Photos from a community event held by Mission for the Homeless in downtown Oakland.


free healthcare checkups

Photos from a community event held by Mission for the Homeless in downtown Oakland.

12 / 4/ 2016


Photos from a community event held by Mission for the Homeless in downtown Oakland.

8 / 2 / 2015

Photos from a community event held by Mission for the Homeless in downtown Oakland.

4 / 5 / 2015



Last modified: June 9, 2019
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