Housing and Social Services Resources

The Oakland Public Library offers a free, safe environment for many people who are experiencing difficulties or even crisis.   

If you need help, you can always ask a librarian for referrals and information. Many relevant organizations are listed below.  

We also partner with many agencies to provide in-person help right in the library. Our most popular in-library service is Tax Assistance, but you can also find help with housing, mental health, harm reduction, getting social security or veterans benefits, and more.  

Scroll to the bottom of this page to find our schedule.  

Social Services

For most Social Services needs, start by calling 211.  

Many questions can also be answered through the Alameda County Social Services website

The Berkeley Information Network creates many excellent lists including Shelters and Showers, Free Meals, and Mental Health Resources.  

Search more shelter options in Oakland or food banks in Alameda county. 


Keep Oakland Housed provides legal representation, emergency financial assistance, and supportive services. This program is available to all Oakland residents who are experiencing a housing crisis and have a household income at or below 50% of the Area Median Income, with priority to extremely low-income households. Legal representation will be provided to tenants with an active eviction lawsuit. 

Oakland’s Housing Assistance Center/Rent Adjustment Program provides assistance in person and by phone during drop in hours. In addition, they have compiled helpful guides and info sheets on housing laws, including both local and state regulations. Information is available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. They also provide help at the library through workshops and drop-in hours. 

Use Making Home Affordable to find HUD Approved Housing Counselors who can help you with buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosure, credit issues, and reverse mortgages. 

The Housing Authority for the County of Alameda has rental listings and information about Section 8 housing for both renters and landlords.  Section 8 applications are available at this site during open enrollment periods.

Many local organizations can provide help for those dealing with the impacts of the housing crisis:  

Legal Services & Information

Advocacy/Service Organizations

 Eviction Resources

More links and information about tenant rights, laws and protections are available at the HUD Tenant Rights and Responsibilities Portal.