Safety begins with stable and healthy homes, neighborhoods and communities. Racial inequality, poverty and housing segregation are on the rise in Oakland, coinciding with a surge in encampments of unsheltered people across the city, the majority of whom are African American. Since 2018, the unsheltered population in Alameda County has increased by 26 percent.

Alameda County officials are failing our communities by not providing affordable housing and adequate shelter for Oaklanders in need. Instead they conduct inhumane, unconstitutional sweeps, criminalizing and further displacing those who have nowhere to go.

Coalition Partners:

St. Mary’s CenterThe Village in Oakland

Homeless Advocacy Working Group (HAWG)

Love & Justice in the Streets

In collaboration with our close coalition partners, we centered the lived experiences of directly impacted families of color and moved Oakland officials on our demands for affordable housing, and supportive services for unsheltered communities. We surveyed encampments and directly impacted people about their experiences with law enforcement, and organized a Strategy Retreat with unsheltered Oaklanders. Building relationships with our coalition partners and the unsheltered community allowed us to change the narrative and create strategy based on healing, cultural humility, and community.

TAKING DIRECT ACTION

In February 2020, we issued a cease and desist letter to the City of Oakland demanding the end of encampment evictions, and towing and impounding cars used as primary residences. We demanded the repeal of all 10 anti-poverty ordinances. Finally, we called for access to port-o-potties, hand wash stations, and trash pick up at all encampments.

Now, as a direct result of COVID-19, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued recommendations that reflected many of the demands we have called for. The Oakland City Council subsequently voted to approve:

  • A Moratorium on Sweeps (Encampment Evictions)
  • A Moratorium on Towing and Impounding vehicles used as primary residences
  • Additional Port-o-Potties and Hand Washing Station
  • As well as expanded Trash Pick Up
  • A suspension of enforcement of anti homeless ordinances for the duration of the pandemic.

For more information, please contact Ella Baker Center Senior Organizer and Advocate, Angelo Sandoval: [email protected]. Follow us on social media for campaign updates.