LavaMaeX, which provides mobile showers like this one in Temescal, is hosting a resource fair with many services and amenities in downtown Oakland. Credit: Amir Aziz

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“Financial counseling” sounds a lot more appealing when it comes with free massages, pastries, and books. 

You can get all of that and more for free at a “pop-up care village” on Friday outside City Hall in downtown Oakland. Hosted by non-profit LavaMaeX, the city of Oakland, and other organizations, the event will feature numerous resources—including housing, health, hygiene, and employment services—geared toward unhoused residents. LavaMaeX, which operates mobile showers in Oakland, hosts resource fairs like this one periodically.

What: A “pop-up care village” resource fair where visitors can access free services
Where: Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza
When: Friday, Sept. 24, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The idea of the event is to congregate many different services and providers in one place, making it easier and more convenient for Oakland residents to access resources that are typically offered at different locations and through different processes. 

At the care village, visitors will be able to connect with case management, rental assistance, shelter services, COVID-19 vaccines, financial counseling, paid volunteer opportunities, pet care, and more, according to LavaMaeX. People who drop by the fair can also pick up free clothing, books,DVDs, a library card, and coffee. City and county agencies will be present, along with several local nonprofits.

Organizers say they believe everyone deserves “extraordinary care” regardless of their background or circumstances.

See the full list of services coming Friday. Volunteer opportunities are available as well. 

Natalie Orenstein covers housing and homelessness for The Oaklandside. She was previously on staff at Berkeleyside, where her extensive reporting on the legacy of school desegregation received recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists NorCal and the Education Writers Association. Natalie’s reporting has also appeared in The J Weekly, The San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere, and she’s written about public policy for a number of research institutes and think tanks. Natalie lives in Oakland, grew up in Berkeley, and has only left her beloved East Bay once, to attend Pomona College.