Eastmont Town Center

Erica Mu

Pamela Alston was raised in Emeryville along with her eight brothers and sisters. She noticed something particular about the place where she was growing up.

“In my neighborhood, it seems to me the most prevalent health problem was bad teeth. Missing teeth, rotten teeth. And I felt like if there was anything I could do help my community, it would be to treat their teeth,” Alston says.

A One-Stop Shop for Social Services

For many, the Eastmont Town Center in East Oakland is the go-to place to apply for food stamps, get medical coverage, find childcare, and get job assistance. It was once the Eastmont Mall, but as income dropped and crime rose in the surrounding area, Planned Parenthood and the Oakland Public Library moved in, Mervyn’s became the Oakland Police Department, and JC Penney’s became the social service agency.