What began as a program with the primary focus on the needs of men re-entering society from prison, or who have mental health and substance abuse issues and young single fathers without a traditional support system has grown deep Roots in the Oakland community.
Roots Community Health Center now provides community members and college students not only the high-quality, comprehensive health care they deserve to live a healthy life but also valuable referrals such as help with employment, housing, food, diapers, internet and more so that people can focus on their dreams without jumping over hurdles.
Roots opened in 2008 to address the troubling health issues in East Oakland. The organizers envision a nation “where all communities of African descent are resilient, healthy, self-sufficient and self-determined,” according to their website. Like the root system of the oak trees that line the streets of Oakland, Roots has also been growing and taking hold throughout the Greater Bay Area.
Roots now has locations in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Jose and offices in more cities are just around the corner. The main office is located at 9925 International Blvd., Oakland, CA, 94603 and they can be reached by calling 510-777-1177. Visit the Roots website for more information and locations.
Peralta College students with valid student ID can seek Roots services at any of the campuses at Laney, Merritt, Berkeley City College and the College of Alameda.
One of the most important services that Roots provides is the power of home and facility-based care to the uninsured and underinsured. Health and mental health services are provided on-site at re-entry programs, transitional housing, rehabilitation facilities and patient residences located in Oakland. This eliminates the need for transportation on the client’s part, a problem for a lot of people in East Oakland.
Roots is always looking for volunteers to fill a variety of needs which can help enrich both community life as well as the volunteer’s life. Check out the positions Roots needs to fill here.