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Oakland community organization assists underserved community through essential store

KRON4 Heroes

Courtesy: Homies Empowerment Program

OAKLAND, Calif., (KRON) — An Oakland independent youth and community development organization is continuing to provide basic essential living items to the communities most underserved population despite the coronavirus outbreak.

The Homies Empowerment Program has able to continue to keep their FREEdom Store running with the help of volunteers to provide an outdoor store to their local underserved community.

Courtesy: Homies Empowerment

“We knew poverty was huge but it really impacted our focus,” co-founder of Homies Empowerment Dr. César A. Cruz said. “We’re doing this on a weekly basis and we’re serving a minimum of 800 people.”

The FREEdom Store is open on Tuesday’s from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. providing free food and other basic needs at their Homies Empowerment Headquarters located at 7631 MacArthur Boulevard in Oakland.

To ensure the safety of everyone the FREEdom Store is not staffed.

Through donations and the help of volunteers the FREEdom Store is able to provide people in the community with enough food and basic needs to last for a week.

After reopening on Mar. 31 in the midst of sheltering-in-place orders Dr. Cruz tells KRON4 with the help of volunteers the organization is able to provide the community with a sense of support and positivity through hard times.

“We’re thankful that be a solidarity in this way, it’s just growing,” Dr. Cruz said. “Im just honored to be apart of it and to see blessings come out of no where.”

To learn more about the Homies Empowerment Program click here.

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