“Seeking to raise the economic, educational, and social levels of the community with dignity”

Our work

Downs Community Development Corporation (DCDC) is a not-for-profit, independent organization designed to serve the poor, elderly, and children of North Oakland.  DCDC administers several programs:  Fishes and Loaves, Summer Cultural Enrichment Program, and Nichols Senior Housing Services Program.  We are proud to be in our seventh year of providing direct services to raise the social, educational and economic level of this community.

Bishop Roy Senior Housing




The Named for the long-time pastor of the adjacent Downs Memorial United Methodist Church, Bishop Roy C. Nichols Senior Housing is a 17-unit afforable senior housing complex in North Oakland that opened in the Spring of 2003. It was developed by DCDC with funding from US Bank, Bank of America, Citibank, and the City of Oakland. Tenants have access to a computer center and other social services such as meals from DCDC'sFishes and Loaves feeding program.  

Fishes and Loaves


The Fishes and Loaves Feeding Ministry is committed to provide food, clothing and referral services to the San Pablo Golden Gate Corridor of North Oakland.  This ministry provides a hot and nutritious meal every Wednesday and bags of groceries on Fridays.  There are over 37,000 meals provided to the hungry and homeless each year.  All services and programs are provided at no cost.  Those eligible for services are homeless, low income, hungry, shut –in, seniors, youths, adult children and families.




Cultural Enrichment Summer School (CESS)




 The goals of this program are to: 

    Improve the academic performance of students in grades 1-8 who are under performers or at risk of being retained in their current grade

    Provide a stimulating educational program during the summer when students tend to engage in antisocial activities or nonproductive television viewing or computer gaming

    Expose students to cultural and performing arts and teach them academics in a setting that is invigorating, positive, and culturally appropriate

    engage students in physically healthy activities while learning to dance, sing, play piano and drum, participate in drama, art, and spoken word.  These activities are new experiences for the students and they are taught in culturally appropriate ways.

Program instructors teach reading, math and language by infusing all learning within a context and an appreciation of African American arts, achievements and culture.  Visual Art instruction has focused on African/African American history as it relates to fabric design and culture, with students weaving kente cloth and mud cloth in the tradition of master African artisans.  Oratory instruction focuses on posture, projection, relaxation, voice volume, pronunciation and articulation.  It also includes study of famous speeches given by Martin Luther King and Frederick Douglass, and poetry by Maya Angelo, Langston Hughes and Paul Laurence Dunbar.  Drumming instruction uses  call and response, cyclic patterns, cross rhythms and interlocking endemic to African music. Ballet students learn basic movements and terminology, and are exposed to classical music and composers including African American choreographers and dancers. Program participants are low income youth from Santa Fe Elementary School, most of whom receive free or reduced lunches.


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