Main content

At 76 years young, Spectrum client and Oakland resident Ollie Jackson is a retired beautician who’s favorite thing in life is babies and older people. “I’m a people person, I love people!” an enthusiastic Ollie shared with us. In addition to her time as a beautician, Ollie spent 25 years as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) prior to her retirement.

In February, Ollie had back surgery and when she returned home, she was in need of a new heater. “I came out of surgery, and the next day, Spectrum put in a new Central Heating system in my home! I couldn’t believe this was happening - I was so grateful!” Many clients in Alameda county are without safe, reliable appliances in their homes. Spectrum has helped Ollie for over 20 years through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and more recently, our weatherization program. “They keep me safe, they keep me warm! This year, my bill has been especially high and I have been fortunate to receive this help.”

Ollie shared with us that over the years she has had multiple projects done on her home, and that Spectrum is the best she has ever worked with. “I’ve never worked with such friendly people!”
To spread the word about our programs, Ollie frequently shares information about Spectrum with those she thinks may benefit. “Since a gift was given to me, I want to make sure that I can share it with whoever may need it!” Spectrum aims to “improve residents’ quality of life and help them age at home with dignity.” We are very grateful to be able to help clients like Ollie daily with their utility bills, energy efficiency, and safety. When asked if there was anything that she would like to share with our readers, Ollie reminded us: “Spectrum makes you happy and safe.”

Serves 4 | Cook Time: 30 Min | Prep Time: 15 Min
Cozy vegan Moroccan stew simmered with spices, tender butternut squash and protein-packed chickpeas & lentils. This incredible, healthy Moroccan stew recipe makes a wonderful plant based dinner. Serve with naan for the perfect meal!
1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 1/2 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 cups cubed butternut squash (from about 2 pounds butternut squash)
1 cup green lentils, rinsed well
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
fresh juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Optional: a few basil leaves, chopped

Step 1: Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook a few minutes or until the onion becomes softened.
Step 2: Stir in cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne; cook for 30 seconds to a minute until spices are fragrant.
Step 3: Add tomatoes, broth, chickpeas, butternut squash, lentils, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until butternut squash is tender and lentils are fully cooked.
Step 4: Stir in lemon juice and sprinkle with cilantro and basil, if desired.
Serve with: Naan. Add a dollop of yogurt if you aren’t vegan.
Source -

Spectrum’s Fall Prevention Program helps seniors stay physically active! We offer fall prevention skills-building training sessions that help to develop strength, improve mobility and balance and increase hand-eye coordination.

For the first time in over a year, Fall Prevention clients were able to gather in-person at the San Leandro Marina to participate in Spectrum's 2021 Fall Prevention Awareness Walk. On the first day of Autumn, almost 100 Fall Prevention clients joined the event to celebrate Fall Prevention Awareness Week.

We heard stories of how our Fall Prevention Program has impacted the lives of clients, allowing them to remain active or helping them to recover from an injury, illness or surgery. Many participants expressed thanks for the online Zoom classes that kept them active and engaged during shelter-in-place orders.

Could you or someone you know benefit from Spectrum's Fall Prevention exercise classes or educational workshops? If so, please reach out to Program Manager, Stacey Blackard at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Spectrum relies on donations to continue to offer and expand our Fall Prevention exercise classes and other programs If you can make a gift today to ensure these programs remain available to those that need them most, please click HERE.

View pdf