Where are Bill, Aly, and Anita? Shadowing Kathy Ahoy and Street Level Health Project

Earlier this month, members of our PVF staff team spent a morning with Kathy Ahoy, a retired public health nurse and co-founder of Street Level Health Project, as she and her two colleagues set out to conduct outreach on the streets of East Oakland.

Kathy, a long-time friend of Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, co-founded Street Level Health Project 17 years ago to help Oakland communities and marginalized people of color get better access to healthcare and employment opportunities. With a Health Access program and an Immigrant Rights and Empowerment program, the organization helps underinsured, uninsured, and recently arrived immigrants in Alameda County.

This particular morning, Street Level’s outreach specialists, Samantha Vazquez and Francisco Pablo Matias, transported food and drink in their truck, and Kathy followed with flu shots and clinic equipment in her car. They made several stops throughout the Fruitvale neighborhood, where day laborers frequently waited for employment.

At each stop, Samantha and Francisco would get out of their truck and approach the day laborers, speaking in Spanish and Mam, convincing them to get their flu shots and giving them information about knowing their rights as immigrants.

As Kathy’s assistants for the day, Aly and Anita took down some of the clients’ information for Street Level’s records as she administered the shots (and sometimes blood pressure and blood sugar tests). The Street Level team also offered the group some food (a healthy portion of scrambled eggs and vegetables, packed in takeout containers), drink (fruit juice), snacks (fruit bars), and condoms.

Then the team would pack up and drive to the next stop.

Kathy, Samantha, and Francisco demonstrated great knowledge of and understanding for the community as they drove around, reaching out to the day laborers in the neighborhood. They are deeply committed to and passionate about serving the vulnerable and bringing justice to the disadvantaged. They do this twice a week, every week.

PVF is proud to support Kathy and Street Level Health Project’s grassroots efforts.

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