March 17, 2020
Dear WORLD friends and family,
Before we say anything else about the current public health crisis, WORLD wants to emphasize that we are still here for you in whatever capacity we can be, and still reachable by our clients and partners. As you may have heard, Oakland is under a “shelter in place” order until April 7. This means that WORLD staff are not in the office and do not expect to be until that time. However, we ARE still available by phone at our usual number (510-986-0340) and email ([email protected] for general inquiries, or click here for a staff directory).
We will be holding our regularly scheduled Wednesday support group, as well as our leadership meeting (this Monday 03/23) by phone. Please contact your Peer Advocate for the call-in info for the support group, and reach out to Dr. Demisha Burns at [email protected] for the leadership meeting information.
You are not alone, even under quarantine. Please call us at 510-986-0340 if you have any questions, or just need to talk. Social distancing can feel scary and isolating, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Protect your mental health as well as your physical health by reaching out when you need support.
With love and solidarity,
Women Organized to Respond to Life-threatening Diseases
Updates from the City of Oakland 03/18/20:
***FUNDING FOR HEALTHCARE AND HOMELESSNESS: $1.1 billion have been set aside for various services, such as healthcare, homelessness, and school meals by Governor Newsom.
***EVICTIONS: The Governor’s Executive Order on March 12, 2020, waives the one-week waiting period for people who are unemployed and/or disabled as a result of COVID-19 to seek unemployment and disability benefits.
***SMALL BUSINESS: Small businesses can receive direct help from the City’s Business Assistance Center by visiting visit oaklandbusinesscenter.com and completing the online assessment form.
***WORKERS & SMALL BUSINESS: The City has also launched a website to serve as a portal for all the local, state and federal resources available to support small businesses and workers during this crisis.
***EVICTIONS: The Alameda County Sheriff’s office announced today (3/17) that they will be temporarily halting evictions.
***EVICTIONS/RENTAL ASSISTANCE/LEGAL SERVICES: Through the Keep Oakland Housed program, services are available to all Oakland residents who are at risk of losing their housing. In addition to emergency financial assistance to help with rent, utility payments, and other housing-related costs, the program also offers supportive services and legal representation for tenants.
***ENCAMPMENTS: Building new shelters for all is not the solution — it brings people inside, but it does not end their homelessness. Instead, we are focused on rehousing and making our existing shelters more efficient.The City, in partnership with Alameda County, will be covering nearly double the number of encampment sites—from 20 to 39—at which we will provide toilets, sanitizer, and hand washing stations. We are also adding additional hand sanitizer at the 20 encampments already serviced with toilets and hygiene.The City has doubled resources that have been allocated to keeping encampments sanitary, and the City is working with the county and the Governor’s office, finding motels for that unhoused people would be able to stay in if necessary.
***SCHOOL MEALS FOR CHILDREN: Twelve schools throughout Oakland will remain open on certain days from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm providing meals for the week. They are:Northwest/West Oakland: Sankofa Elementary, West Oakland Middle School, Hoover ElementaryCentral Oakland: Oakland High School, Garfield ElementaryEast Oakland: Bret Harte Middle School, Life Academy/United for Success, Coliseum College Preparatory Academy, Madison Park Upper, Fremont High School, Castlemont High School, Elmhurst United Middle School