Following is an excerpt of a story that ran on June 25 in the Oakland diocese paper, the Catholic Voice.

Officials of the Diocese of Oakland and representatives for the Casa Vincentia women’s shelter have signed an agreement concerning their differences over a building owned by the diocese and occupied by the women’s shelter.

According to the agreement signed June 11, Casa Vincentia will leave the building, a former convent at St. Cyril Parish. An engineering study by the diocese indicated there were seismic safety issues with the building; and the diocese could not afford the repairs.

Diocesan and Casa Vincentia representatives met last September and Casa Vincentia agreed it would find a new home in 90 days. Casa Vincentia, which is not a diocesan operation, also had not paid rent since 2007. After several attempts at a meeting, the diocese initiated eviction proceedings, which culminated in the June 11 agreement.

As part of that agreement, the shelter program, which has provided a haven to homeless, pregnant women for some 25 years, has until Oct. 24 to find a new home.

“We were concerned about these young women and their safety, that’s why we embarked on this,” said Rev. George Mockel, vicar general. “We’ve tried for over a year to work out a solution.”

“It is our fervent hope that the move take place long before Oct. 24,” said Mike Brown, diocesan spokesman. “We don’t want the women to be there in unsafe conditions.”

Barbara Jackson, executive director at Casa Vincentia, said while “October seems like a long way away it really isn’t.” In addition to packing boxes there are confidential documents to shred, furniture to give away and a myriad of other chores.

All offers of volunteer help will be accepted during this moving process, Jackson said, adding she is starting a volunteer list for anyone who wants to help. “We still have bills to pay,” she said. To inquire about volunteer opportunities phone 510-729-0316.

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