Seeking emergency housing? Please call (510) 532-3211
2023 has ushered in a big season of change at EOCP: We’ve welcomed interim executive leadership and hired key staff at Crossroads, our emergency shelter located in the heart of East Oakland. Our commitment to persistent, comprehensive care for families experiencing homelessness continues. And this year, we are finding new opportunities to strengthen how we show up for parents and youth at Crossroads and beyond.
Every family seeking the next step in their journey towards permanent housing finds much more than simply a shelter bed at EOCP — they are welcomed by our team’s commitment to intensive support. We first learn about the personal and complex story of each family’s experiences to date, deeply listening to understand their goals and needs. With on-site counseling for mental health and substance use, family members receive personalized attention.
There are unique challenges for unhoused families. Carmen Hidalgo (Crossroads’ Family Services Manager, who joined EOCP last summer), reflected: “One of the major challenges we see is about education. When families arrive at Crossroads, we want to keep the children in each family connected by getting them enrolled in school, especially when they may not have been enrolled in school for a long time. For our team, part of our work is supporting parents to build the daily habit of taking their kids to school.” For others, working with EOCP case managers offers an opportunity to try to reunite with a child from whom they’ve been separated. And for both parents and children, it is difficult to tackle aspects of depression and other mental health crises that affect not only individuals, but an entire family. EOCP staff bring an understanding of these hurdles to each family’s personalized plan of action.
While Crossroads offers a crucial landing place and space of comfort, making a way out of the shelter and into permanent housing is the goal. For the families at Crossroads, there are already wins: 100% of them are in the midst of their housing placement process after securing either their emergency housing Section 8 voucher or a match through our Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) program. At each stage, our case managers work closely with each family to gather and submit required documents, and ensure they access important social benefits.
Beyond the families on-site at Crossroads, Carmen and her team also provide tailored care and housing placement services for an additional 30 unhoused families per year as part of the CalWORKs Housing Support Program (HSP). Two additional programs support families who are turning the page on their story with homelessness: the Matilda Cleveland Transitional Housing and the Family Matters Shelter. Here dozens more caregivers and children work with dedicated EOCP case managers to rapidly find permanent housing and access to a robust slate of services.
At all our family programming sites, this season of change is bringing a renewed energy for the possibilities to come!. As EOCP and our committed team move out of the height of the COVID pandemic — and all its difficulties, losses, and uncertainties — we are continuing to open new doors for people of all ages with our commitment to dignified, compassionate, unwavering care.