Dimond Neighborhood News
by Carrie Campbell and Kathleen Russell
By Carrie Dern, Project Manager
Established in 1891 as a Methodist orphanage by Duncan and Eunice Finch, the Fred Finch Youth Center (FFYC) is a landmark in Oakland. Encompassing eight acres at 3800 Coolidge Ave., just above MacArthur Blvd., the center was founded on the principle that no one, regardless of background, financial status, or personal challenges, should be neglected or forgotten. FFYC continues today to offer support to the most vulnerable children, youth, young adults, and families to create and sustain healthier lives.
Each year in Alameda County, two to three hundred young people age out of foster care homes. Based on national statistics, an estimated 40 percent of these young people will be homeless within the first year of leaving foster care, and half will be unemployed or underemployed. The Dimond District will soon include affordable housing for 30 young adults exiting foster care.
An early pioneer in the development of transitional housing for young adults at risk of homelessness, Fred Finch Youth Center will begin construction to provide affordable housing on their Coolidge Ave. campus. The project, Rising Oaks, formerly Emancipation Village, will also provide supportive services that promote vocational and educational success and wellness. The site will house a full-time resident manager.
Rising Oaks design received approval from the City Planners Office in 2010. FFYC has worked with the Dimond Improvement Association (DIA), adjacent neighbors, youth groups, and community stakeholders through the design and pre-development phases of this project. Construction will begin in December of this year.
The next neighborhood meeting will take place on December 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Fred Finch Youth Center, 3800 Coolidge Ave.
For information, www.fredfinch.org or CarrieDern@fredfinch.org.