Casa Ubuntu Center Offers Help for People with Mental Health Concerns


Casa Ubuntu, which provides services for people with a broad range of mental health needs, recently opened in the Eastmont Town Center in East Oakland

Casa Ubuntu, which means the house of human kindness, was launched in November by Bonita House, Inc., a 46 year-old non-profit mental health agency.

The center serves people with co-occurring conditions, such as substance abuse or physical health conditions along with a mental health concern.

The programs is open to adults 25 years old and older with a people friendly, drop-in environment operating five days a week and every other Saturday.

Spanish speaking staff is on site.

“Co-occurring disorders include individuals and families challenged by mental health, challenged by substance abuse and challenged by health care needs as a result of these two conditions,” said Lorna Jones, Bonita House executive director.

“We are open to everyone and are here to answer any questions you have,” she said.

There are opportunities for activities, skills development, support for furthering education, vocational opportunities, managing symptoms, and learning about how individuals can re-integrate into the community at the highest level possible.

“Casa Ubuntu is based on a model of whole person care,” said Floyd Brown, MD, the center’s medical director. “We are here to work with consumers of care in a way that is respectful, that is collaborative and that is client-centered.”

Staff provides an environment where people can flourish. It supports consumers’ overall growth and development to help them recover to the maximum extent possible from mental illness and substance use challenges, as well as to manage chronic physical health conditions.

“We take our direction from the person – having them tell us what they would like to achieve in their life,” Brown said.

Patient-centered care embraces respect for the individual’s needs, preferences and values. At Casa Ubuntu, this means that staff gives top priority to the voice and concerns of each person. Staff and consumers partner in an atmosphere in which professionals respect the needs of each service user and the service user can assume and express his or her own power.

Casa Ubuntu features state-of-the-art onsite services. Staff work with East Oakland residents, building community and hope for people with psychiatric and substance use problems.

Casa Ubuntu provides case management, medication management, employment services, a full array of peer driven support groups, recreational, wellness, and recovery programming. Services also include referrals to housing, benefits, and primary medical care as needed.

“We are something new, something innovative,” said Terrence Cole, Casa Ubuntu’s program director. “We are a safe haven for people to work on themselves and work on their recovery. When people have hope, they will find the will power to come back and engage him or herself in society – so that they can become positively active in the community.”

Casa Ubuntu is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and every other Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The center is located at Eastmont Town Center, 7200 Bancroft Way, Suite 267 (Second floor) in Oakland.

To learn more or schedule a tour, call (510) 735-0864.


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