Established in 1993, Operation Dignity provides emergency, transitional and permanent housing for homeless veterans and veteran families in Alameda County. Our goal is to offer safe and sober housing and intensive support for residents to rebuild and transform their lives. Operation Dignity also provides essential food, clothing and supplies for the homeless population in Oakland through our mobile outreach program.
As a Vietnam veteran, Executive Director Alex McElree has dedicated his life to ensure that no veteran suffers the indignity of homelessness and isolation upon their return home. After returning from three tours of duty in Vietnam, Alex “lost everything” as he became homeless, battled alcoholism and experienced trauma from war experiences. As soon as he recognized the acute needs of other homeless veterans, he vowed to do what he could to house and support them. Starting with his Social Security check, he rented a house in Oakland, bought some beds, and brought home some vets. Alex’s contributions to the veterans’ community are a testament to his personal determination and leadership. In 2009, the California Legislature Assembly selected Alex McElree as the 16th District Veteran of the Year for his work.
From its pioneering start, Operation Dignity has grown to a non-profit, 501(c)(3) veteran run, service-enriched provider serving homeless veterans and their families as well as homeless populations of Alameda County. Operation Dignity provides supportive housing, nutritious meals, a peer community and intensive supportive services. Our goal is to empower residents to build trust, develop hope and gain the tools needed to attain self-sufficiency and stable lives.
Our former and current residents help operate our facilities, by providing peer support to other veterans and supporting day-to-day operations. Many of our former residents work at paid staff positions. We also refer clients to needed medical, mental health and legal services.
Board of Directors:
Berdie Gomez: firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Hayes-Smith: email@example.com
Alex McElree: firstname.lastname@example.org
Judy Quea: email@example.com
Tara Singh: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Van Slambrook: email@example.com
Rosa Maria Zanolli: firstname.lastname@example.org