Oakland Community PPE

Personal Protective Equipment, Contract Work, and Tools
for under-resourced people and small businesses in Oakland – Free.

face mask icon

2,761

Masks Distributed*

1,480

Shield Distributed*

112

Caps Distributed

15

Small Business Tools
(sneeze guards, sanitizer dispensers, etc.)

210

Hours of Paid Work
(contract labor making PPE)

Our Distribution Model is Different

We made a commitment to supply gear for the under-resourced communities in Oakland. Specifically unhoused folks, essential workers, and hard-hit neighborhoods in East and West Oakland. 

Unlike other PPE project out there we don’t take requests. Instead, we foster relationships with organizations and groups already serving the folks we are working to help. By partnering with organizations like the East Bay Collective, Punks with lunch and others we are able to reach people faster without duplicating effort.

Make what people need

What we make is a combination of what we can get materials for and listening to the folks we are serving. We learned what was needed by listening to our partners and that allowed us to make more useful and safer harm reduction PPE. This included features like individual packaging and multilingual labels. 

How we are doing it

Not only do we have and wonderful volunteers helping us constantly we use our funds to offer contract work opportunities to folks put out of work by the COVID-19 health emergency. This includes safety training and fabrication training in some cases. 

Excellent partnerships withing the Bay Area maker communities have also been vital; connecting us with material and financial donations, volunteer pools, and subject matter experts. We are proud to work with All Bay Area PPE, Idea Builder Labs, Port Workspaces, M0XY Artspace, GetUsPPE, Nation of Makers, MakeUsPPE and so many more. 

Evolution into an ongoing project

It will come as no surprise that the history of Oakland Community PPE and how it came to be is a bit chaotic. The COVID-19 public health emergency has thrown how we function as a society into chaos. 

With a lot of simultaneous efforts that started with just a call for mask-fabric and grew to manage pallets of mask making goods and spontaneous partnerships, grants, and donations the Oakland Community PPE Program was born.

Rapid Response in March 2020

In March 2020 quarantine went into effect and Ace Makerspace temporarily closed… and the lack of PPE made its self known. Rachel Sadd, the Ace Makerspace executive direct got the green light from the board to use the Ace Resources and space to make PPE with volunteers including the Ace community in support of projects she was personally spearheading. Prioritizing safety for volunteers and creating a “drop-in” model the community went to work. The rest they say is history. 

Masks, Shields, and Caps… oh, my!

The Distill My Heart Mask project was the first scale project that Ace supported. In partnership with Circuit Launch, the pieces for over 3600 masks were laser cut in just 2 weeks using the large lasers at both locations. This was matched by the previous efforts making cotton cloth masks.

Bay Area Medical Faceshield Emergency Production, an effort by the community including the amazing folks at Neils CNC, needed a clean space and the infrastructure to do kit assembly and fulfillment soon after they started. Ace and the Ace community were able to step up and provide that infrastructure helping to distribute over 1300 face shields in short order. 

At the same time, a group called All Bay Area PPE sprung up. This effort coordinated by Danny Beasly of Idea Builder Labs is a rapidly-mobilized network of local fabricators, artists, community groups, and volunteers coming together to create and distribute open-source medical supplies to protect our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Distribution Partners

East Oakland Collective

Fresh Life Foundation

West Oakland Punks with Lunch

Toolworks.org

Oakland Communities for Equity and Justice

Wan Francisco Homeless Healthcare Clinic

Berkeley Free Clinic

Grants and Funding

Dashboard coming soon!

*This count includes the masks distributed from Ace Makerspace as part of the Distill My Heart Project