The Berkeley Outreach Coalition is comprised of several individual organizations, each with their own founding missions.
East Bay Community Law Center
Our mission is to promote justice and build a community that is more secure, productive, healthy, and hopeful by providing legal services and policy advocacy that are responsive to the needs of low-income communities, and law training that prepares future attorneys to be skilled and principled advocates who are committed to addressing the causes and conditions of racial and economic injustice and poverty.
Homeless Action Center
People who are homeless are overwhelmingly poor, disabled, ill and marginalized. The Homeless Action Center (HAC) provides no-cost, barrier-free, culturally sensitive legal representation that makes it possible for homeless men and women to access the maze of social safety net programs that provide a pathway out of homelessness. Through HAC’s legal assistance, clients obtain health care, housing, a sustainable income and restored dignity. HAC is the only program in the Bay Area that specializes in legal assistance to those who are chronically homeless.
Consider the Homeless!
CONSIDER THE HOMELESS! is a small yet dedicated group of neighbors and friends who seek to alleviate the suffering of Berkeley’s homeless, our brothers and sisters who are living and sleeping on the streets of our fair city. It all started spontaneously around Thanksgiving of 2014 as an idea – a vision that was born in a small kitchen with one woman’s dream and several large stock pots. Every Thursday and Sunday we cook and serve over 8 gallons of hot, home-made from scratch, nutritious soup, enough for over 100 people. We start serving right before the sun is setting, when most folks are settling in to where they will be spending the night. Along with the hot food we also try to keep an abundance of donated basic survival supplies. Our goal is to offer whatever help we can to those living on the streets – beginning with the basic need for food. We strive to warm their bellies and their hearts while offering what we have, with a simple greeting and a smile. There is no hidden agenda. We gain their trust as we respect their privacy and we always treat them with the utmost respect.
The mission of the Suitcase Clinic is to promote the health and overall well-being of underserved individuals through medical care in partnership with the UCSF Joint Medical Program, service provision, cooperative learning, and collective action among community and professional volunteers, students, and participants. We believe in the dignity of all human beings, and hold that healthcare and housing are basic human rights of all persons. We realize that health is a holistic state of complete physical, mental, emotional and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Health promotion requires more than medical care and should include programs that address behavioral, social, and environmental issues that affect people’s quality of life. We should take the initiative to make our services, projects, and our overall organization as client-centered and culturally appropriate/accessible as possible; we value the principle of “starting where people are" in utilizing clients’ strengths and resources in order to meet their needs and empower them to make their own choices.
Berkeley Free Clinic
The mission of the Berkeley Free Clinic is to empower individuals and communities by providing accessible, client-centered health services and information. Since the Clinic opened, there has been an ever-present, albeit dynamic, need for its services as social conditions have undergone shifts and changes. It has become something of an icon in the area, and has served thousands in a variety of ways during its 50-year history. Its founding principles and structures, which can be found on their website, survive to this day.
Berkeley Copwatch is the original Copwatch group. We began in 1990 on Telegraph Ave. as an all-volunteer organization dedicated to monitoring police actions and non-violently asserting our rights. Since that time, many Copwatch-type organizations have sprung up across the nation, in various forms. Berkeley Copwatch is based on the idea that WATCHING the police is a crucial first step in the process of organizing. We do not attempt to interfere in police activity or to resist police misconduct physically. It is our hope that, one day, mass outrage at police and government violence will increase to a point where fundamental change in the nature of policing becomes inevitable.