Transforming Lives - Building CommunityCreating Change
|St. Mary's Center is a nonprofit organization in Oakland, California dedicated to the humanity of all people. Founded in 1973, St. Mary's Center provides critical services to extremely low income seniors and children, increasing their quality of life and working to improve community engagement and public policy.|
- Oakland has more seniors living in poverty than any other urban area in the state. (Census Report) California has the most seniors in the nation.
- In Oakland, Brown and Black children are more likely to drop out of high school than graduate. (Oakland Unified School District)
- "A nursing institution is the single most expensive way of taking care of people's long term needs," Paul Kleyman American Society on Aging
|Why St. Mary's Center ~|
Situated in Oakland, California, St. Mary's Center is both a safety net and a vision of how our world might be. Here, the poorest get basic needs: a place to live, healthcare, enough and nutritious food, and an opportunity for an education.
Trailblazing new approaches and honing proven strategies, St. Mary's Center is:
- one of the first community programs in California to provide concurrent treatment for those with co-occurring conditions (mental illness and substance abuse). Now the approach is often the standard.
- the only winter shelter for people 55 and older in Northern California
- the only integrated treatment program for seniors in Alameda County.
- a program where those helped through the crisis of homelessness become mentors to others and leaders advocating on behalf of the needs of extremely low income people.
As a one-stop shop for needed senior services, the Center helps people deal with immediate crisis (hunger, homelessness, isolation, health issues, no income, etc) providing wrap around services and a comprehensive program.|
Active listening, a knowledgeable staff and community of peers combine so care plans are workable. The process and programs improve quality of life and mirror to the senior their responsibility to others.