OAKLAND—The Homies Empowerment Program is an independent after school program, offering students opportunities to appeal for donations to their community. The Homies Empowerment Program has been setting up Homies Empowerment FREEdom Store each Tuesday to support the Oakland community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rogelio X, inventory coordinator of Homies Empowerment Program, told ABC 7 SF News, “We want folks to shop for free and grab what they need. We don’t believe in charity. We believe in solidarity. To give back to the community any way you can, even if it five minutes or 50 cents. It doesn’t matter. Trying to find ways to contribute to the community because we are all in this together. We have formula and hot food.”

“We respond to what the community needs and what the community asks for,” commented Reena Balvani, volunteer at Homies Empowerment.

The Homies Empowerment Program is located in East Oakland and has been offering homies unity dinners for about 6 years. Its FREEdom store is located at 7631 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA, where the Bay Area residents can receive free toiletries and food. The store opens every Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to support Latino and Black communities in Oakland. Volunteers gather canned goods, fresh vegetables, and products through a week and hand over them to more than a thousand people who need. People can also donate food, toiletries, and money through PayPal (teolol@yahoo.com) or Venmo (@Cesar-Cruz-22).

Visit The Homies Empowerment Program’s GoFundMe Page to make an online donation.