Housing and Community Services

The Housing and Community Services department works to restore hope and inspire change through cultivating transformative relationships in the community. We do this work through two service areas, Oak Street Community Cabins and Community Mediators (formally Community Ambassadors).

Our Story

Family Bridges’ is deeply rooted in Oakland Chinatown and serves the most vulnerable in our community, including houseless individuals in and around Chinatown. Our work with houseless individuals first began in 2018, and in March 2019 a pilot outreach project with very limited resources was launched. This included one volunteer who was formerly incarcerated developing trusting relationships and distributing 30 meals a week to the houseless. Within a year what was once a pilot project became a 24/7 emergency shelter program known as Oak Street Community Cabin that offers 38 beds and other basic needs for a person to have a sense of safety and security.

In July of 2021, Family Bridges Inc. officially launched the Oakland Chinatown Ambassador Program with the support of the Oakland Chinatown Coalition. Our Community Ambassadors addressed community needs in a collaborative spirit while establishing a sense of street cleanliness, public safety, and community vibrancy and hope. Momentum built from the support of our community led to our current growth of 19 -staff members at the Housing and Community Services department, providing housing navigation, support services and community safety services through the Oak Street Community Cabins and Community Mediators (Stop the Hate, Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems (C.R.I.S.E.S.), and Oakland’s Summer Town Nights).

Guiding Principles

Equity – We aim to acknowledge, embrace, support, and accept people of all backgrounds and identities.

Safety – We strive to provide community members with the sense of safety through our interactions and presence.

Security – We work to be a consistent presence in the community so that when a helping hand is needed, we are there to de-escalate and/or offer needed resources.

Inclusivity – We actively engage with all community members to foster the sense of belonging, especially for those who are historically marginalized.

Through the Oak Street Community Cabins, we provide houseless people who identify as “woman” the opportunity to stabilize from crisis and focus on their journey to secure and maintain more stable housing. Our housing services are built on the belief that houseless individuals deserve to be treated with dignity and respect wherever they are, and should have access to basic needs of food, shelter, and care.

Our Services

· 24/7 emergency shelter

· 38 beds

· 6 months stay while working toward stable housing

· Daily meal

· Site Management

· 24-hour staff

· Housing services:
1. Obtaining essential documents, e.g. ID, birth certificate, social security card
3. Enrolling in Medi-Cal and selecting a health plan and primary care provider
3. Applying for benefits and services, e.g. GA, CalFresh, SSI/SSDI, etc.
4. Providing housing systems navigation and support e.g. coordinated entry, application assistance, limited financial assistance, move-in, tenancy sustainability.
5. Preparing for job readiness, e.g. application and resume assistance, connecting to employment and job development opportunities.



Our Impact

As mediators, our street team initiates and establishes relationships with all community members including those who are houseless, merchants, housed residents and visitors. Our social justice approach minimizes the need for law enforcement presence, helps prevent potential over incarceration, and reduces disenfranchisement.

Our Services

Our team mitigates and mediates situations proactively and de-escalates and diffuses situations as they occur and in response to calls for assistance. To prevent future harm from occurring our team engages in bias education through building awareness and addressing biases.

Our Impact