Help for seniors from St. Mary's Center.

St. Mary's Center provides help in an effort to assist eligible seniors or disabled persons. Assistance programs are administered from the “One-Stop” center run by the organization, often in partnership with social service agencies or local non-profits in Oakland California. The goal is to help people remain safely in their own homes or provide them with transportation to medical care and other services.

In-Home Supportive Services provides assistance in the client's home. IHSS is one of the city of Oakland's primary alternatives to out-of-home care, such as placing the senior is a nursing home or some other care facility. There is often a small fee for this, and it can be paid for by insurance such as Medicaid or a private plan. IHSS can provide some or all of the following.

  • Personal care services such as feeding, grooming, mobility, dressing and transfer assistance.
  • Services in the home. This may be housecleaning, meal preparation, laundry, and trips to grocery stores.
  • Rides will be arranged to medical appointments or sites across Alameda County where alternate resources provide medical or other care.

St. Mary's Center support is arranged for the family or caregiver. Staff provide comprehensive information on programs in the area. Or what they may do is refer people to support groups, legal and financial aid, in-home services and other resources that can make a situation easier. Some of those St. Mary's Center services may be as follows.

  • Care Coordination is available after an assessment is done. This will help determine the necessary supportive services for a loved one.
  • Education and Training is given to the caregiver. Clients are given the correct tools and information so they can properly assist the senior or disabled person.
  • Respite is arranged too. This will give the person breaks from their responsibilities. The non-profit will offer short-term relief in the home or this can take place in a local adult day care center.

The Center's Senior Homeless Program provides everything from shelter to case management to Oakland residents over the age of 55. They help both the homeless and residents on the verge of it.




The housing programs range from applications to emergency financial aid to emergency winter shelter. The team at St. Mary's Center will also explore transitional housing in Alameda County, and help the elderly find affordable, permanent housing.

Food services are available from Congregate Meals. There is also also home delivery service. There are free dining centers located throughout the county as well as city of Oakland. The locations will provide a hot nutritious meal five days a week as well as before the holidays. The meals are available to any senior citizen as well as their spouses.

St. Mary's Center Meals on Wheels is coordinated by the charity and its volunteers. Drivers will stop by each weekday and  deliver this every day. During certain periods, such as holidays, a frozen meal is brought to them. Some of these services are partly paid for by the federal Older Americans Act and State of California general fund dollars.

Senior citizens from Alameda County have access to many other programs from the non-profit organization as well. The bottom line is that the team from the agency work to help ensure their specific needs are met. Whether it is medical or if someone just needs companionship, then resources are available to them.

Care management starts with an assessment. This will examine the social and health care needs of clients. This can help both seniors as well as any disabled persons in the community. Based on the results of this, a care plan is created by the staff member. This will address any need required, such as those below.

The homebound, or someone that has given up their driver's license, can use the Transportation Program. These serve clients in Alameda County and the city of Oakland. They are created to be “curb-to-curb” that provides a ride to the senior and the disabled population. There are some charges involved for to cover the gasoline expense and driver's salary, but it is offered a discount.





Free legal assistance and advocacy is for addressing the needs of seniors. They can get help from pro-bono attorneys on issues including applying to public entitlements in California, housing related laws, landlord/tenant disputes, creating wills, health law consumer protection, and nursing home law and powers of attorney. If a medical provider is overbilling them, then advocates can review this issue as well and address any fraud.

Home Modifications will include both minor home repairs for very low-income senior (62 years and older) or disabled homeowners. This is a limited service and anyone applying to it from St. Mary's Center needs to meet income limits.

St. Mary's Center volunteers will help with emergency repairs. Priority is for anything that will directly affect the health and safety of occupants. Free installation includes labor but there may be costs involved for any materials for eligible beneficiaries. This may be adding a handicap ramp or grab bars in a shower. Other minor work can also be done as part of Home Modifications.

For more information on these comprehensive service, the center is based at 925 Brockhurst Street in  Oakland, California 94608. The intake line is 510-923-9600.



By Jon McNamara

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