Annual Report 2023-23

“It feels good to hold the keys to a place my son and I can call home.”

Housing Success! 

Building Futures is housing more families and individuals than ever! Last year, we dramatically expanded our housing program to meet the need. We connected 116 new households with a place to live.

Raven Reed’s is one. She and her son faced complex obstacles to being housed. This not unusual for people we serve, who may need domestic violence services, connection to medical or mental health care, credit repair, or legal help, as well as housing. At Building Futures, we work with patience, and tailor services to each participant’s needs. Temporary rental subsidies are just part of the solution as we walk beside those we serve to a better future.

It took time, but Raven and her case manager Frances Buchanan worked hard. Raven told Frances she was motivated by her son’s wish to have a home before the start of school.

Building Futures counts on our community to help meet the needs that government funding doesn’t cover. Like our effective array of services, a diverse mix of funding helps families like Raven’s to succeed!

Donors Help Make a House a Home

Imagine starting a new home without a broom, bedding, or kitchen basics! Last year, Building Futures and our community partnered to provide Move-In Kits for newly housed individuals and families. What a way to show your neighbors you care! 

“I take great pride in shopping for Move-In Kits for families transitioning into permanent housing,” says longtime volunteer and donor, Al Filart. “It is a truly rewarding way to touch the lives of people in need.”

Our Move-In Kits focus on essential items a household cannot do without. Want to help? Visit Cover all or part of a Move-In Kit—or simply request that Building Futures direct your gift where it is needed most. Together, we can help more families! 


I hope Building Futures’ annual report finds you and your loved ones well as we look ahead to fall. 

Building Futures is connecting more people than ever to housing! One reason is last September’s opening of our Family Housing Resource Center. Located in Oakland, this one-stop hub is where all the agency’s family housing programs take place. There, the recently launched Family Challenge Grant provides workforce support and mental health services. These services are designed to help ensure participants are well-equipped to maintain their housing. 

I’m also delighted to share that Jazz it Up, our main benefit event, was back in-person after three years. Thank you to all who helped support life-changing programs and services!

Enjoy reading in these pages about some of the many great things you helped make possible last year. As always, I invite you to visit to learn more. And remember, your support is much needed—and deeply appreciated.

Liz Varela

Our Leadership Team: Tammy Cloud, Housing & Health Services Director • Jennifer Co, Domestic Violence Services Director • Sabrina Thomas, Emergency Services Program Director • Liz Varela, Executive Director • Rachelle Martin, Finance Director • Ana Maria Mahiri, Development & Communications Director

Board of Directors

Cristi Ritschel

Paul Carney
Vice President

Sandy Schnieder

Ingrid Jonsson

Carla Dartis

Ellen Dektar

Nicole Hankton

Jean Hom

Tyng Liu

Carrie Lutjens

Jolene K. Wright

Liz Varela
Executive Director

Jazz it Up Marks 35 Years, Raises $135,000!

Thank you! The SOLD-OUT evening at Nido’s Backyard Oakland featured delectable food and drinks and live music. The event raised $135,000! Two hundred and fity community members gathered to celebrate Building Futures service to the community, and support life-changing programs and services.

Our community supporters met a $10,000 challenge match, enjoyed a celebratory evening of great jazz and food, and gathered in person for the first time in three years!

Treva Reid, Oakland City Councilmember District 7, spoke on the importance of housing.
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