The Unity Council
The mission of The Unity Council is to help families and individuals build wealth and assets through comprehensive programs of sustainable economic, social, and neighborhood development.
The Unity Council, a community development corporation, enriches the quality of life for families through a multitude of direct service programs. Located in the Fruitvale district of Oakland, the Unity Council employs a comprehensive strategy to assist individuals and families build assets by focusing on economic, social and neighborhood needs. Each year, thousands of primarily low to moderate income clients are served by providing them with tools needed to transform their lives and ultimately achieve educational, financial, or employment goals.
Founded in 1964 as a means to bring together Latinos and create a powerful and cohesive voice, the Unity Council’s first success was bringing needed employment and educational resources to the Fruitvale and raising awareness of the needs and concerns of Latinos in Oakland. Although the organization’s leadership and primary service population is Latino, the geographically based community development strategy now focuses on building an economically vibrant, physically attractive, and a livable neighborhood regardless of ethnic affiliation or national origin.
While remaining firmly anchored in its history and ideals as an organization, the Unity Council places a strong emphasis on forward-thinking policies as well as programmatic refinement and reinvention. Now in a leadership
transition phase, the Unity Council has begun deliberations throughout several tiers of the organization in order to provide short-term (2-5 year) policy and programmatic direction for the organization.
Current Program Overview
The Unity Council manages over a dozen impactful community-based programs, all of which fall into the key strategy areas of economic, social and neighborhood development. Over time, this integrated approach has proven successful to helping low-income individuals improve their self-sufficiency, economic stability and overall quality of life. The programs are as follows:
Economic development programs help individuals secure quality jobs, improve their understanding of personal budgeting and finance, and increase their personal savings. The programs also teach individuals and families how to save and plan for the future, particularly those interested in exploring opportunities for homeownership. To encourage those with an entrepreneurial spirit, clients are helped by creating business plans to start their own enterprises, while concurrently offering support to help owners expand and improve their operations.
Social Development programs address service gaps by offering an array of resources to help underserved individuals and families function effectively and achieve their full potential. For adults, our programs focus
on achieving literacy or English language proficiency. By improving their skills, clients gain a sense of empowerment by learning to navigate the public transportation system, apply for government services or use
a computer. For youth, the programs focus on giving young children a head start through early education and engaging older youth in physical and recreational activities that keep them engaged in school.
Neighborhood development programs work to create a safe, vibrant and aesthetically appealing environment that supports and stimulates commerce, while enhancing the quality of life for residents,merchants and visitors. In addition to the Fruitvale Transit Village, a development that includes housing,
community service and retail space, the Unity Council operates programs to spur economic development in the area’s main commercial corridor.
Current and Upcoming Opportunities