A volunteer-run, nonincorporated private membership association which organizes low-income workers not recognized by labor laws such as domestic, temp, contract, and gig workers. Its Eleven-Point Benefit Program, run by and for their membership of low income workers, includes emergency food, clothing, job referrals, legal advice, medical/dental sessions and classes, utility advocacy sessions, seasonal benefits (toy, turkey, back to school distributions), and more. Not a charity, it serves as a way for those most impacted by poverty to take back what is rightfully theirs.

They canvass low-income neighborhoods to publicize their benefit program and inspire participation, scheduling house meetings so neighborhoods can work collectively to deal with issues relating to affordability, access to healthy living, and other conditions of poverty. They also organize events for its members including holiday parties, large-scale food distributions, and school supplies distributions. They offer classes on labor history and community or workplace organization. No experience or level of education is required!

They are currently fighting chronic PG&E power shutoffs (around 30 per week), affecting members on breathing machines and with insulin in their fridges. They are also doing advocacy around water in cases where EBMUD imposes water flow restrictors on people behind on their bills. Past fights include disaster relief after the Loma Prieta earthquake, fighting enterprise zones, and action against EBMUD water shutoffs.

They are open every day of the year from 9 to 9, and they answer their phone 24 hours a day. They have no paid staff, so all donations go toward keeping operations running.

1141 Peralta St., Oakland, CA 94607

(510) 832-2111

Website: wswaoakland.org