St. Mary’s Center, a nonprofit organization, provides essential services to improve the quality of life for at-risk seniors and preschoolers in Oakland.

Each year we stabilize the lives of more than 1,350 homeless seniors and frail seniors living alone, assist neighborhood families who need supplementary groceries, and provide a preschool for 48 children living in poverty. Nearly 3,000 people are impacted each year by the work of St. Mary’s Center.

In 2014, St. Mary’s Center was recognized by peer organizations, the Center for Elder Independence, EveryOne Home, and the Alameda County Mental Health Board for its extraordinary level of services to low-income elderly in West Oakland. Our Executive Director, Carol Johnson, was given the 2014 Humanitarian Award by the Mayor of Oakland for her leadership of St. Mary’s Center “to create a vibrant community for people previously living on the edges and in the doorways of Oakland”.

We are pleased to report that St. Mary's is financially sound and attracts a diverse funding stream (a 60/40 mix of government and contributed income), which ensures consistent high-quality programming.  More than 750 volunteers of all ages provide critical support and cost efficiencies.  St. Mary’s Center has earned Charity Navigator’s 4-Star Rating for its fiscal management and efficiencies six years in a row.


Why Work With Us?

St. Mary’s Center works on-the-ground with the extremely poor and advocates with them on issues that directly impact their lives.

St. Mary’s Center is the first community-based program in the Bay Area to offer concurrent treatment for seniors with substance abuse addiction and mental health issues.  

We are a community that includes fellowship, basic services, and mental healthcare and addiction recovery services all in one location.



  • St. Mary’s Center imagines and invests in creating stronger and healthier people and communities. Each person who walks through our gates is welcomed to a community of care and to seeing possibility for their lives.

    Susan Werner, Art Facilitator and Senior Advocate,
  • The first day I felt welcomed, not ashamed.

    St. Mary’s Center participant,