The Oakland Public Library offers a free, safe environment for many people who are experiencing difficulties or even crisis.
If you need help, you can always ask a librarian for referrals and information. Many relevant organizations are listed below.
We also partner with many agencies to provide in-person help right in the library. Our most popular in-library service is Tax Assistance, but you can also find help with housing, mental health, harm reduction, getting social security or veterans benefits, and more.
Scroll to the bottom of this page to find our schedule.
For most Social Services needs, start by calling 211.
Many questions can also be answered through the Alameda County Social Services website.
Keep Oakland Housed provides legal representation, emergency financial assistance, and supportive services. This program is available to all Oakland residents who are experiencing a housing crisis and have a household income at or below 50% of the Area Median Income, with priority to extremely low-income households. Legal representation will be provided to tenants with an active eviction lawsuit.
Oakland’s Housing Assistance Center/Rent Adjustment Program provides assistance in person and by phone during drop in hours. In addition, they have compiled helpful guides and info sheets on housing laws, including both local and state regulations. Information is available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. They also provide help at the library through workshops and drop-in hours.
Use Making Home Affordable to find HUD Approved Housing Counselors who can help you with buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosure, credit issues, and reverse mortgages.
The Housing Authority for the County of Alameda has rental listings and information about Section 8 housing for both renters and landlords. Section 8 applications are available at this site during open enrollment periods.
- Affordable housing throughout Alameda County: Section 8 Rental Directory
- Affordable housing in Oakland only: Section 8 Housing
Many local organizations can provide help for those dealing with the impacts of the housing crisis:
Legal Services & Information
- Centro Legal de la Raza (510) 437-1554
- East Bay Community Law Center (510) 548-4040
- Bay Area Legal Aid (510) 663-4744
- Bar Association of Alameda County (510) 302-2222
- Tenants Together (888) 495-8020
- Disability Rights California (510) 267-1200
- ECHO Fair Housing (510) 496-0496
- Neighborhood Law Corps (510) 238-6628
- ACCE Oakland (510) 269-4692
- Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) (510) 834-8920
- Bay Area Community Services (510) 613-0330
- Causa Justa :: Just Cause (510) 763-5877
- Center for Independent Living (510) 763-9999
- East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO) (510) 499-3660
- SEEDS Community Resolution Center (510) 548-2377
- Tenants Together (888) 495-8020 (Tenant Rights Hotline)