Community is one of our core values and it’s at the heart of everything we do. For over 57 years, The Unity Council has been committed to creating strong communities where people have the power to shape their lives, and everyone –children, youth, families, and seniors – can thrive.  

When COVID-19 hit, we knew that our clients were going to need us more than ever. We mobilized our pandemic response in March 2020 and our dedicated team has been on the frontlines in East Oakland and the Monument Corridor in Concord ever since, responding to the greatest crisis our communities have had to face.  

To meet the urgent needs of the communities we serve, we focused on the following strategies: 

  • Direct cash assistance for immigrants and low-income families 
  • Free food distribution for children, seniors and essential workers 
  • Technical assistance and support for Fruitvale’s small businesses 
  • Housing stability grants and neighborhood preservation real estate acquisitions  
  • Increased access to COVID-19 public benefits like unemployment and food stamps 
  • …And most recently spearheading local vaccine outreach and education with healthcare partners in our most highly-impacted communities

We were able to rise to the challenge because of our solid foundation, one that YOU – our incredibly generous donors and partners – helped us build. Thank you for believing in The Unity Council and making our critical work possible. 

Our communities were in crisis before the pandemic hit. Going back to normal is not good enough. That is why we will work harder, go farther, and move faster to demand equitable investments in health, education, and economic opportunity for our communities.  

Thank you for joining us for the wild ride of 2020. I hope to work in solidarity with you in 2021.  

Chris Iglesias  
Chief Executive Officer  



To see detailed financials click here.

Economic Relief and Housing

Problem: According to the New American Economy, undocumented immigrants paid more than $27 billion in federal, state, and local taxes in 2017. Yet, undocumented immigrants did not qualify for the federal income replacement programs designed to support families in the first few months of the pandemic. This exclusionary eligibility test affected individuals, spouses, and children—many of whom are U.S. citizens. 

Solution: We sought to provide financial support for people who lost wages during the pandemic and who did not qualify for federal income replacement programs due to restrictive immigration policies. 

Food Insecurity

Problem: According to Feeding America, California will see a projected 1.9M person increase in the number of people living in food-insecure households due to COVID-19, the largest increase in any state in America. During shelter-in-place, TUC’s Head Start and senior services programs—which provide daily meals to hundreds of seniors and children —were forced to close down. 

Solution: TUC’s food distribution activities quickly adapted by expanding to distribute bags of groceries to the community starting the week of March 29th. 

Health and Wellness

Problem: Low-income families, immigrants, and communities of color living in Fruitvale and like neighborhoods continue to be disproportionately impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of the families and individuals we serve do not have the economic security or resources to withstand the economic impact without our support. 

Solution: Develop powerful partnerships with local community-based organizations serving similar communities to increase our collective response. 

Workforce and Small Businesses

Problem: Fruitvale businesses have faced a myriad of complex problems throughout the last 9 months of the pandemic. Local small businesses continue to face ongoing financial hardships during the pandemic, from short notice shutdown orders to restructuring their businesses to adhere to safety restrictions to applying for government loans. 

Solution: Staff provided information and assistance to apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and other grant opportunities, as well as coaching business owners on a range of business needs, including general business management, navigating financial resources, and, assistance with the California Employment Development Department (EDD – including disability and unemployment insurance), and marketing. 


In 2020, The Unity Council became the proud new owner of four properties in Fruitvale, through an acquisition rehab strategy that preserves the affordability of these rents and protects the tenants from eviction and price hikes.  

Acquisition rehab is a core strategy for fighting displacement and preserving affordability in the Bay Area real estate market. There is a diminishing supply of affordable housing, and developing new units takes years to complete. Acquisition rehab allows organizations like ours to purchase what are sometimes called “unsubsidized affordable housing” or “naturally occurring affordable housing,” and work to convert them into properties subsidized through affordable housing funding. We are excited about how these acquisitions, all located within a block of each other on 36th Ave, contribute to our strategic plan of building Neighborhood Hubs

These properties are fully occupied and we are now conducting outreach to the existing tenants to let them know of the services and programs that we offer. The existing tenants have rent control and are able to remain in place. As units become available in these buildings, new tenants will have incomes at or below 80% of the AMI, ensuring that these properties remain homes for low- to moderate-income people. 


Join The Unity Council on the frontlines! Even in the most uncertain times, The Unity Council stands by its community. As the need continues to grow, so do the tools to make it all possible. Consider making a donation to The Unity Council, and together, we can ensure that every person – regardless of their race, language, or immigration status – gets the support they need to stay resilient. 


Thank You to Our Partners – We Can’t Do It Alone! 

The COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate effects on the communities we serve amplified the need to strengthen existing partnerships and forge new ones in order to provide an urgent and rapid response. Every partnership was crucial to our work:  

  • The Alameda County Community Foodbank and World Central Kitchen helped us provide emergency food distribution for youth, families, and seniors.  
  • The Keep Oakland Housed (KOH) collaborative helped us to provide legal representation, emergency financial assistance, and supportive services to low-income residents.  
  • The Oakland Workforce Development Board trained our Career Services staff so that we could meet the surge in requests for assistance in applying for EDD/unemployment insurance.  
  • And, the Resilient Fruitvale Collaborative helped reinforced Fruitvale’s resilience through a community-led response and recovery plan led by local key stakeholders with a history of serving the community with confidence and compassion. 

We are grateful to our partners and funders who took action to help us deliver critical community safety net supports. 


*Fiscal Year 2019-2020


  • Bank of America Charitable Foundation
  • The California Endowment 
  • Citi Community Development
  • Crankstart Foundation
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Kelson Foundation 
  • Loud Hound Foundation 
  • NeighborWorks America
  • Oakland Fund 
  • San Francisco Foundation  
  • StartSmall LLC
  • Stupski Foundation


  • Sunlight Giving
  • United Way Bay Area
  • Y&H Soda Foundation
  • Wells Fargo Foundation


  • Comcast Foundation
  • Google
  • MUFG Union Bank
  • Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) 
  • Senior Assistance Foundation of the East Bay (SAFE) 
  • Square Inc.
  • Sutter Health 
  • Tipping Point 
  • US Bank 
  • Warriors Community Foundation


  • Amazon
  • Cardenas Markets Foundation
  • The Clorox Company 
  • East Bay Community Foundation
  • First Republic Bank 
  • The Hellman Foundation  
  • Jewish Community Federation 
  • Kapor Center
  • Latino Community Foundation
  • NALEO Education Fund


  • Der Manouel Insurance Group 
  • Emergent Fund
  • McGuire and Hester
  • Oakland Athletics 
  • Rainin Foundation 
  • Silicon Valley Bank 
  • Turner Construction Company


  • AC Transit
  • Alameda County
  • BART 
  • Port of Oakland
  • Rubicon Point Partners


*Equity Champions / **Board Members

  • Annie Abernethy
  • Leticia Aguilera
  • Natalie Aguilera
  • Jill Allen
  • Aida Alvarez
  • April Alvarez
  • Elena Anaya**
  • Louise Anderson**
  • Luis Arenas
  • Yolanda Arredondo
  • Luis Arteaga
  • Nkeiruka Bakke**
  • Ellen Balis
  • Iram Bautista
  • Deborah Bayer
  • Jennifer Bell
  • Janice Berthold
  • Carol Beth
  • Karen Bloomquist
  • Madelaine Bolton**
  • Zaby Bongiovanni
  • Debra Bowles
  • Karen Breslau
  • Alison Brokke
  • Joseph Brooks
  • Renona Brown
  • Sylvia Brownrigg
  • Amanda Brumme
  • Claudia Burgos*
  • Burt Liss Charitable Fund
  • Alessandra Cabrera
  • Janice Cantu
  • Regina Chavarin
  • Anthony Chavez
  • Dahlia Chazan
  • Ener Chiu
  • Kelly Ciotti
  • Helen Clifton**
  • The Coequantem Fund
  • Susan Colson
  • Jose Corona*
  • Joe Coto
  • Tom Courry
  • Darlene Crane
  • Elena de la Garza**
  • Itzel Diaz
  • Kristina Donnelly
  • Jacqueline Downing
  • Miguel Duarte*
  • Jennifer Easton**
  • Robyn Elmosilhy
  • Marianne Etlinger**
  • Mark Everton
  • Chris Fiorentini
  • Jennifer Flores
  • Maria Gallo
  • Lili Gangas*
  • Garcia Family Fund
  • Cathy Garrett
  • Elizabeth Glenewinkel
  • Alex Goffey
  • Ron Gomez
  • Gilda Gonzales
  • Sandra Gonzales
  • Elizabeth Gore
  • James Govert
  • Joseph Guan
  • Shelley Hara
  • Ellen Harnick
  • Maria Hernandez
  • Armando Hernandez
  • Charles Higueras
  • Blake Hihara
  • Ralph Holmes*
  • Alexander Holtzman
  • Jason Hopkins
  • Lisa Hsia
  • Flavio Ibarra
  • Chris Iglesias
  • Victor Iglesias
  • Victoria Innocent
  • Ayana Ivery
  • Brian Jackson
  • Sarah Jarmon
  • Craig E. Johnson
  • Dana Kleinhesselink
  • Vani Kohli
  • Heather Kuiper
  • Harshit Kumar
  • Martha Lackritz-Peltier
  • Mariah Lafleur*
  • Cynthia Lam**
  • Juan Ramon Lara
  • Tami Lau
  • Tim Law
  • Gordon Leung
  • Aubra Levine
  • Graham Lewis
  • Nema Link
  • Jody London
  • Rebecca Longworth
  • Love Cultivating Assets Fund
  • Laura Luster
  • Jennifer Mackley
  • Linda Mandolini
  • The Manning Charitable Fund
  • Victor Marquez
  • Lilia A. Marquez
  • Victor Martinez
  • Steve Martinez
  • Shaddai Martinez Cuestas
  • Joshua Matz
  • David Matz*
  • Katina McKone**
  • Janis Medina**
  • Noemy Mena-Miles & Paul Miles 
  • Kristina Mody
  • Melanie Moore
  • Jazmin Mora
  • Sarah Morales
  • Kimberly Munoz**
  • Marsha Murrington
  • Gregg Nakanishi
  • Joaquin Newman & Evelyn Orantes**
  • Van Nicholson
  • Jeanne Nixon
  • Claudia OConnell 
  • Karely Ordaz
  • Aaron Ortiz
  • Kelly Osmundson
  • Gregory Osorio
  • Jose Padilla
  • Zeke Paradock
  • Erin Patch
  • Tony Prada
  • Dan Quigley
  • Robert Raburn
  • Claudius Reich
  • David Reinertson**
  • Dave Richards
  • Rosie Rios
  • Jack Robertson
  • Damali Robertson
  • Karl Robillard
  • Roderick Roche
  • Arturo Rodriguez
  • Darian Rodriguez
  • Antonio Ruiz
  • Charles Sanderson
  • Cecile Scandone
  • Pia Schiavo-Campo
  • Liz Schwarte
  • Evan Schwartz
  • Joel Shaffer
  • Samuel Sharkland
  • Eugene Sheriffield
  • Craig Shields
  • Jeff Sloan
  • Rebecca Smyth
  • David Stein
  • Arturo Taboada
  • Pam Theiler Wise
  • Rita Torres
  • Charles & Patricia Trepinski
  • Frank Tsai
  • Christian Valdez
  • Fernando Valenzuela
  • Jesus Vargas
  • Victoria Wake
  • Louise Bay Waters**
  • David Weltin
  • Karen Whitestone
  • Casey Williams*
  • Bob Wise
  • Amber Wise
  • Wladimir Wlassowsky
  • Eva Yeiser-Garcia
  • Andrew Young
  • Daniel Zamani*


About the Equity Champions Monthly Giving Circle:

Equity Champions, the backbone of TUC, amplify our mission of promoting opportunity and social justice for the richly diverse communities we serve. As a member of our Monthly Giving Circle, you can enjoy exclusive access to inspirational and exciting experiences such as special discussions, private events, volunteer opportunities, and much more!

Our community needs change-makers like you! Join an incredible group of like-minded individuals who are passionate about equality and opportunity for low-income, immigrants, and communities of color throughout Oakland and Concord. Your partnership provides resiliency and stability to an anchor organization with a half-century of history working tirelessly in the community.

Make a recurring donation of any amount with any debit or credit card and it will be automatically charged the same time each month. It’s easy and convenient, and provides year-round support to your favorite nonprofit!

Benefits include: 

  • Quarterly networking events
  • Discounted tickets to the annual Fruitvale Día de los Muertos Festival VIP celebration
  • 100% tax-deductible