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Health, Safety & Wellbeing
The City and its partners are working to create and maintain a healthy, safe and fulfilling environment for all residents and visitors. Local efforts aim to address inequities in opportunities and outcomes. All members of the Oakland community have a role to play in creating a healthy, safe and resilient community through healthy choices, smart preventive practices, fostering supportive environments and engaging in preparedness.
Sustainable City Highlights
Expanding School Health Centers Provide Critical Services - The Oakland Unified School District is creating school-based health centers in Oakland middle schools providing mental and physical health services to students and their families. Five facilities funded by Atlantic Philanthropies and the Elev8 initiative will serve children at United for Success Academy, West Oakland Middle School, the Havenscourt middle school campus, Madison Middle School and Roosevelt Middle School. A grant from Kaiser Permanente is funding the construction and remodeling of five more centers, bringing the district's total to 15. Those projects include schools in the new downtown educational complex on Second Avenue, Frick Middle School, the Elmhurst middle school campus, Skyline High School and Oakland High School.
Expanding Access to Healthy Food - Recent redevelopment efforts have brought new grocery stores to underserved areas of Oakland. The City’s Office of Parks & Recreation supported nine community gardens in 2010, providing compost, water and site coordination.
Oakland Food Policy Council - The Oakland Food Policy Council (OFPC) began meeting in 2009 with a mission to establish an equitable and sustainable food system in Oakland. The 21-member OFPC is comprised of stakeholders from Oakland’s food system and funded by several partners, including the City of Oakland. It coordinates initiatives aimed at improving access to affordable healthy food; increasing community nutrition; recommending local food policy; and turning Oakland’s food system into a local economic development engine. Visit the OFPC website, or learn more about the City's current efforts on local food issues.
Providing Food & Shelter - In Fiscal Year 2008-09, the City’s Department of Human Services provided 532,444 meals to low-income residents including 80,000 lunches to children and youth; provided 55,655 bed nights for shelter and hotel/motel vouchers for people without permanent housing; and assisted 1,435 homeless or near homeless households and individuals in obtaining or maintaining permanent or transitional housing.
Violence Prevention & Public Safety Programs - Funded by Measure Y (the Violence Prevention and Public Safety Act of 2004), City programs provided nearly 40,000 hours of individual services in fiscal year 2008-09, including case management, mental health services and intensive outreach to nearly 2,400 young people. Reentry and job training programs provided more than 1,300 individuals work experience and support services to help them find and retain jobs and prevent future violence.
Youth Programs - The City supports 86 safe places offering after-school and summer programs for Oakland youth through an agreement between the Office of Parks and Recreation and the Oakland Unified School District.
Head Start - In 2009-10, the City’s Head Start program provided more than 1,800 families with family services support. Thirty-one Head Start/Early Head Start centers provided child care for 1,374 preschool children and 499 infants and toddlers. In 2008-09, the Oakland Head Start Program created the “Teach Flu a Lesson” initiative, becoming the first Head Start agency on the West Coast, and third in the nation, to conduct on-site flu clinics.
Health Awareness Programs - The City has worked with local partners to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS and other health issues and promote active screening and healthy living practices.
Public Safety Communications - Oakland was the first city in the Bay Area to achieve the P-25 national standard for interoperable Police and Fire communications during emergencies.
National Night Out - Participation in Oakland's National Night Out has increased from 35 to 453 block parties in recent years, involving approximately 29,000 adults and youth.
Farmers Markets - The number of weekly farmers markets in Oakland has more than doubled since 2005 to 15 markets.
In the Works
Creation of New Community Gardens - The City and other partners allocated funding in 2009 to convert two small blighted West Oakland parks, Fitzgerald and Union Plaza, into vibrant community parks with garden spaces and a community market farm. Scheduled for completion in 2011, the farm will provide organically grown fruits, vegetables and eggs to West Oakland residents.