WHO ARE THE OAKLAND FRONTLINE HEALERS
THE STORY OF OAKLAND FRONTLINE HEALERS
With COVID-19 sweeping the nation, Oakland Frontline Healers recognize that Sheltering in Place with adequate food and support is a privilege that many in our Black and Brown communities cannot afford on their own.
Before the COVID-19 crisis hit, the Black and Brown communities we represent and serve were already in dire need of support. This crisis has made that need much greater especially as the unequal and unjust structures that make our communities vulnerable are now made even more obvious.
The Oakland Frontline Healers is a Black Led, multiracial coalition of service providers, credible messengers, volunteers, and councilmembers working together to address COVID-19 vulnerabilities in Oakland’s Black Communities.
Formed in March 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, with 20+ organizations in our alliance and 150+ volunteers and staff in the field, we provide a holistic suite of services designed to protect and support our community in the areas of:
Housing Insecurity and Homelessness
Support for Youth
Returning from Incarceration
Access to Testing and Medical Services
Outreach and Education
Support for Local Businesses
Support for Service Providers
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FUND THE COMMUNITY?
Grassroots organizations and small nonprofits are a crucial, untapped resource in the fight against COVID-19. As members of the communities we serve, we utilize existing relationships to bridge the gap between the community and the government crisis response. Our Coalition’s service provision is a one stop shop for services that can meet the holistic needs of individuals in Oakland’s Black Communities.
All actions are informed by medical partners to be compliant with best practices and health orders.
BOSS (Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency) serves as fiscal sponsor, leading the collective and providing coordination around communications, outreach, finance, and programming.
Urban Strategies Council conducts data collection, performance tracking, and evaluation of OFH’s ability to meet the following goals:
Goal 1: Increasing Supplies of Basic Needs like PPE, Food, Shelter
Goal 2: Increasing Testing and Contact Tracing
Goal 3: Increasing Wrap Around Services and Shelter Provision
Goal 4: Changing the Narrative via Messaging and Outreach
COVID-19 TESTING & HEALTH POPUPS
OFH Partners (James A. Watson Clinic & Roots Community Health Center) used CARES Act funding to provide COVID-19 testing to over 1000 individuals.
James A. Watson Clinic specifically used COVID-19 rapid test to work with the community. Their testing efforts revealed 5 total positive cases. Those individuals who tested positive were referred to the county for contact tracing and case management services. After those 120 kits were used, Watson Clinic continued to provide testing to the community through other funded sources and provided an additional 130 test kits.
Roots Community Health Center was a leading health resource for our community in 2020. They provided wrap around services, COVID-19 testing and CI/CT for those who tested positive in the zip code areas of: 94603, 94605 and 94621. Roots hosted touchless food distribution events that provided fresh produce and food as well as other basic need items (diapers, cloth masks, dental kits etc.) to families impacted by COVID-19.
Also, learn more about our partnership with UMOJA HEALTH to provide testing and contact tracing in our community.
SMALL BUSINESS RESOURCES
EOEF provided 52 COVID-19 resource kits to Oakland small businesses. Each of the 52 kits included information packets, PPE, and various items to help provide safe working and shopping conditions. EOEF also provides safety assessments for 40 businesses to better understand their needs during the pandemic.
Over 30% of service to the highest infection rate ZIP codes, and roughly 45% to the second- and third-highest infection rate areas. Nearly 58% of serviced businesses are Black-owned, and all but 6.5% are POC-owned.
PROVIDING RESOURCES TO COMMUNITY
OFH Food Distribution partners hosted food distribution events at multiple locations around Oakland while also distributing PPE supplies including mask, hand sanitizer, and COVID-19 information. As a collective, we served 500+ families per week. The average family/ household including 5-9 members. A large population of those served were the most vulnerable in our community including the unhoused & unsheltered. We provided groceries including produce, meat, vegetables, fruits, bread, and juices, as well as hot meals and pre-cooked options.
OFH distributed 20k items of PPE including masks, disposable wipes, gloves, face shields, hand sanitizer, and surface cleaner. OFH Partners distributed PPE at various food distribution sites, community events, direct to businesses, pop up testing events, homeless encampments, partner organizations, and various other areas.
CARES Act funding accounted for over 2000 meals per month. CARE Act funding accounted for over 37,000 total distribution items of Food, PPE, Hygiene Kits.
HOUSING SUPPORT DURING A PANDEMIC
As part of CARES Act funding, OFH partners provided over 1000 nights of housing support and services including hotel vouchers, rental assistance, and shelter for those most impacted by COVID-19 including the unhoused, survivors of domestic violence, previously incarcerated individuals, and African immigrants.
SPOTLIGHT - EOC'S RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
East Oakland Collective provided rental assistance for 12 people (10 individuals + one couple) in Oakland. Each recipient received $2k each toward one month rent. Two individuals had their funds go to past due rent, 2 individuals were fleeing domestic violence situations that left them housing insecure, and one couple was unhoused and paid towards new permanent housing. Each of the recipients received $500 (gift cards/ checks) towards home goods & furniture.
BUILDING A SAFE PLACE FOR OUR AFRICAN IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY
GCEA provided transitional housing for 24 unsheltered African immigrants from April to December 2020 through their 24 hour shelter program. GCEA's shelter included client support services such as case management, employment assistance, housing navigation, and child care. GCEA also provided 3 meals per day for each of their participants and COVID safety support including PPE.
PEACE IN THE STREETS - CREDIBLE MESSENGERS
MOI Credible Messengers (10) go to targeted areas twice a week to have dialogue on Public Health & Safety and facilitate conversations around community violence prevention. Each messenger works around 40hrs per month engaging with community members about safety, protection, and community health. Messengers also pass out PPE to the community as they get resources. Messengers do intakes with community members in need They have referred individuals to other organizations such as, Youth Radio, Civic Corp, BOSS, YouthAlive, East Oakland Entrepreneurship Forum.
PEACE IN THE STREETS organized the Truce parade on November 1st, 2020
ADDRESSING YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH
THE FIGHT AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING
OFH Youth Committee produced three (3) 90min youth led conferences addressing COVID-19 awareness & safety, mental health & wellness, and community violence.
RPI produced activities around working with young men (15). They hosted 4 virtual workshops and multiple meetings to educate and engage youth (specifically teenage boys) who are prone to enter into sexual exploitation businesses. Through their events, they also hosted community give-aways and distribution of COVID-19 Safety information outreach through tabling and food distribution activities.