The Y & H Soda Foundation is an anti-poverty organization committed to the full participation and prosperity of the underserved in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. We aspire to create a more just, prosperous and caring community in the East Bay and believe that every resident deserves an equal opportunity to develop to his or her fullest potential and contribute to community life.

Our founders, Chet and Helen Soda, rose from very modest beginnings to become successful entrepreneurs and community leaders. Chet and Helen lived the American Dream and created the foundation as a permanent resource for their beloved East Bay to ensure that others would have the same opportunity. Their vision, faith, community spirit and commitment to people in poverty inspires and drives our work. 

Our Approach:

Guided by our founders’ values and Catholic Social Teaching, we anchor our work in an asset-based approach that lifts up community strengths and capacities and builds upon these assets to drive positive change. People experiencing poverty are the true experts in the issues affecting their lives and communities. We endeavor to honor those struggles and keep the experiences and aspirations of people in poverty at the center of our work. 

Poverty in our community has many sources, from individual and family circumstance to historical systems and structures that facilitate economic opportunity for some, while preventing it for others. Consequently, we target our poverty alleviation strategies at the individual, community and policy levels. Our strategies are grounded in the belief that everyone should have enough income to meet their basic needs, as well as the opportunity to participate, prosper and contribute to the common good.  

We employ five complementary funding strategies:


Top image photo credit:  Inner City Advisors