Click here to read my story for Oakland North.
“A woman wearing a black hoodie, black pants, black boots, and black-framed glasses sat alone in the front row of a room at the East Oakland Senior Center on a Saturday morning. She leaned forward with her arms crossed and resting on the table, patiently waiting.
The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, was one of the first people to show up at the “Help for Family Caregivers Coping with Mental Illness or Substance Abuse” workshop, hosted by the African American Family Support Group. She was seeking information and resources to help her 19-year-old-daughter—who suffers from co-occurring schizophrenia and drug abuse and is currently homeless—find the help that she needs.
“I hadn’t been to an African American event yet, so that was very important. I had gone to [a family clinic] and it was very white [and] middle-class. Nobody had issues with homelessness or substance abuse, so I really wanted to come here because I felt like both of those things would be addressed within the context,” said the woman…”