West Oakland Youth Center
The History of West Oakland Youth Center
The West Oakland Youth Center, has been in the making since 2003, when West Oakland community members expressed their neighborhood’s need for a place dedicated to young people. Community advocates have come together to convert a former church into the West Oakland Youth Center. In 2005, the city purchased the building that once housed Olivet Institutional Missionary Baptist Church at the intersection of Brockhurst and Market Streets. No other such facility exists in West Oakland. To date, programs and management for the facility are still being developed.
In 2008, the City of Oakland enlisted Liz Derias, formerly of the youth advocacy group Leadership Excellence, and led a team of young people in a year-long campaign to develop a place that serves West Oakland’s teens. Many area residents agreed strongly with Derias, and City Councilmember Nancy Nadel and resurrected West Oakland’s push to have the facility built. The city of Oakland is working closely with community groups in West Oakland to envision the possibilities of the new West Oakland Youth Center.