Founded in 2008, Roots Community Health Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the status of health of East Bay residents. Roots implements its mission by providing high-quality, comprehensive and culturally appropriate health care, by implementing direct service models to increase access to care and thereby prevent the need for emergency services, and by coordinating cross-agency liaisons to ensure a more efficient, continuum of care in East Oakland. Roots Community Health Center was founded to address the growing need for accessible, culturally appropriate, community-responsive, comprehensive health care in Oakland, California. Specifically, Roots aims to eliminate wide health disparities and improve health outcomes for uninsured and low-income residents of East Oakland.
The mission of Roots Community Health Center is to uplift those impacted by systematic inequities and poverty by providing culturally responsive, comprehensive healthcare, behavioral health, and wraparound services; identifying and addressing root causes of illness and suffering; and emphasizing self-sufficiency and community empowerment. Roots Community Health Center accomplishes its mission by providing top-quality healthcare, conducting community-based participatory research, and offering opportunities for rehabilitation, education, training, and employment to reduce poverty and dependency in our community. Roots implements its programs and services while honoring the “roots” of culture, heritage, and tradition; by providing unprecedented access to services; by remaining community-aware and community-responsive; and by establishing partnerships to ensure a more efficient continuum of care in Oakland.
How We Started
Roots Community Health Center was founded in 2008 to address troubling health issues in East Oakland. The vision of Roots was to become a community health center serving area residents who need it most, but it began as a residence-based program, targeting members of our community with the greatest need.
Namely, Roots sought to impact care for men in our community who lacked health care coverage or access. This is because traditionally, supportive services are more readily available to women in society, leaving men out. Roots focused its efforts primarily on men reentering society from prison, men with substance abuse and mental health issues, and young fathers without a traditional support system.
Our medical team provided care to these men on-site at various re-entry programs, substance abuse facilities and fatherhood programs. Not only were medical services provided at the time and place of need, but patients were signed up for programs and services to benefit them as well. By providing medical care on-site, appointments were convenient and accessible. Many emergency room visits were avoided, and patients were able to attend their programs, training, classes and jobs without interruption.
This initiative, later named Fit4Work, is based on the belief that health is a prerequisite for sustainable employment and entrepreneurship, and that stable income is a contributor to good health. Roots has since developed initiatives that aim to increase job readiness, employability, job retention, and less reliance on “the system”.
Roots still believes in the power of home and facility-based care and continues to provide these services to those patients who need it. If you or your facility needs a medical provider who will come to your location, please contact us.