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May 8, 2018 > Gala supports Davis Street programs, honors RotaCare volunteers

Gala supports Davis Street programs, honors RotaCare volunteers

By Johnna M. Laird

A program that began 48 years ago as a church ministry has grown into a multiservice agency, offering a comprehensive safety net to help low-income families in San Leandro and surrounding communities. Davis Street Family Resource Center, which incorporated into a nonprofit agency in 1990 after its launch as a food outreach program by San Leandro?s First Christian Church, has become a one-stop center to fight poverty and provide assistance to people in need of medical, dental, and mental health care as well as assistance with almost every aspect of life. Davis Street operates programs that provide food and clothing as well as make referrals for financial, housing, and employment assistance, offering both short and long-term aid to improve quality of life.

Each day about 850 children receive childcare services through five centers that Davis Street operates and through in-home services that the resource center administers.

?The mission of Davis Street is to improve health, address poverty, and increase the overall quality of life,? says Daniel Johnson, Operations Director. ?We accomplish our mission by providing strategic assistance through a variety of integrated services that identify, focus, and build on our clients? natural strengths.?

Annually, about 12,000 primary care clinic visits are made to Davis Street Family Resource Center, which offers medical, dental, and behavioral health services; about 13,000 people receive food and clothing annually. Davis Street opened its full-service medical clinic in 2014 with 13 exam rooms and three dental chairs, earning the nonprofit federal designation as a qualified health center. The clinic operates Monday through Friday with a staff of four full-time doctors and two full-time dentists and is a sanctuary facility, treating people regardless of immigration status.

Prior to a renovation and the clinic opening, health services were available at Davis Street through a volunteer effort of doctors and nurses providing care to low-income and undocumented individuals. Davis Street made space available, and RotaCare provided primary healthcare services for people with limited access to medical care. Currently, RotaCare continues to offer free medical care one day a week, on Thursdays. RotaCare began in 1989 when Dr. Mark Campbell, with the backing of his Rotary Club in Campbell, identified the need for healthcare services in his area. RotaCare opened its first clinic on the site of the former Agnews State Hospital, a site that has now closed, but clinics operate in several Bay Area cities.

The volunteer-driven RotaCare will be honored at Davis Street Family Resource Center?s annual gala on Wednesday, May 16 for its years of service, meeting acute medical needs of thousands of uninsured and poverty-stricken people dating back to June 1995 when it first partnered with Davis Street. RotaCare plans to end its partnership with Davis Street after 2018, now that the resource center has a full-service clinic.

This year?s gala is themed ?An Enchanted Evening in Paris. . . Oh, La, La,? and is expected to attract more than 200 attendees, giving them a taste of the City of Light without having to leave the Bay Area. French decorations and a French-themed ice sculpture will adorn the Dunsmuir-Hellman Estate in Oakland where the event takes place, starting at 5:30 p.m. with themed drinks at a hosted cocktail hour followed by can-can dancers entertaining. Consumers from Stepping Stones, a program serving adults and children with developmental disabilities and a subsidiary of Davis Street, will stroll a fashion show runway later in the evening.

Dinner and a dessert bar will be followed by a silent auction packages that include a trip to Mazatl n and game tickets to see the Oakland A?s and the San Francisco Giants. Gala proceeds will benefit all Davis Street programs, including its nutritional training program in that teaches how to prepare meals to get and stay healthy.

Johnson says the clinic serves a large, diabetic population that suffers with hypertension. ?It?s a nutritional education program where people learn about vegetables that they are not familiar with. They learn to read labels and to be healthier.? Johnson recalls one diabetic husband and wife that took the training together and a few months later returned to report that they no longer needed medication after changing their lifestyle.

More than 1,000 volunteers assist throughout the year at Davis Street, including Alameda County firefighters and San Leandro?s Police Department handing out a meal, canned food and new toys during the holidays. ?It?s a fresh turkey, fresh produce and canned goods, and not just one toy for children but a stocking, an education toy and one that is larger. Nobody goes without. The impact this makes on families, relieving holiday stress, it?s one of the best things to see,? says Johnson, who is also seeking more volunteers throughout the year for the food and clothing programs and for the holiday outreach that gears up in September.

For gala tickets, call (510) 347-4620 ext. 104 or visit

An Enchanted Evening in Paris. . . Oh, La, La
Wednesday, May 16
5:30 p.m.
Dunsmuir-Hellman Estate
2960 Peralta Oaks Ct, Oakland
(510) 347-4620 ext. 104
Tickets: $250

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