Oakland: Money coming to help rebuild Vietnamese community center damaged in fire


OAKLAND, Calif. — Money is coming to rebuild a cultural community center in Oakland that was badly damaged in an early morning fire Feb. 6.

Nearly $110,000 had been raised as of Feb. 17 to rebuild the Vietnamese American Community Center of the East Bay, which provides, among other services, 30,000 to 40,000 meals a month to vulnerable populations.

The fire was reported shortly after 1 a.m. at the center at 655 International Blvd. in a former school building at Clinton Park.

“Our center is a beacon of hope for all,” the fundraisers organizer Joanne Garcia said on the GoFundMe page where money is being raised.

Donations can be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/vaccebs-mission-to-continue-the-efforts.

The fire may have started at a homeless camp adjacent to the center, fire officials said. An unspecified number of people were displaced from the homeless camp.

In Garcia’s GoFundMe post, she said the fire destroyed 40 percent of the center. No one was injured.

For 20 years, the center has been operating and 10 of those years it has been at Clinton Park.

Low-income refugee/immigrant families in the Bay Area get help at the center as they are integrating into American society and working toward self-sufficiency.

The center also provides English language, computer literacy and citizenship classes.

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