Oakland launches the city’s first compassionate Tiny Home Village homeless intervention on city-owned property on Lake Merritt
Site preparation begins this week to convert up to 65 unhoused residents into dignified, supportive accommodation with comprehensive, trauma-informed and harm-reducing services
OAKLAND, CA – Yesterday, Monday, August 2, 2021, the site began preparing to create a small shared apartment on the city-owned property at E. 12th and 2nd Ave for unhoused Oakland residents operating under a local council under joint community agreements intended by unoccupied residents, nearby resident residents and small businesses, service providers, and the city of Oakland. Last year, Council President and District 2 representative Nikki Fortunato Bas campaigned for the city to test this supportive accommodation solution on the largest vacant lot owned by the city in District 2.
The collective agreements will cover aspects of living together, such as guidelines for guests, shared clean-up tasks, behavioral standards, substance use and more.
The project will prioritize E. 12th parcel camp residents for initial placement in the program and will convert up to 65 unhodged people off the streets of Oakland into humane, dignified accommodation with full trauma-informed and harm reduction services, including services to treat Addictions and mental health problems. The city has also coordinated ongoing contact with camps in the immediate geographic area and plans to fill the spaces on an ongoing basis.
Improved living conditions for residents: The planned pallet shelter structures improve the city’s current offerings with worthy new amenities: electricity, privacy and security through a lockable door, smoke alarm, carbon monoxide monitor, fire extinguisher and ample storage space, all with mold, rot and pet protection materials. The program will also include wall and beautification work in collaboration with neighbors and community groups.
“This project will greatly improve the living conditions of our uninhabited neighbors and use public land to help us tackle our crisis of affordable housing and homelessness – which the people of Oakland have overwhelmingly expressed must be our city’s top priority,” said Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas. “Through this project we will show that compassionate, trauma-informed small community communities can effectively create safer and healthier communities and also help residents successfully move into stable housing and health.”
For several years now, the E. 12th parcel from Lakehouse Commons, the developer group consisting of UrbanCore and East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), has been earmarked for long-delayed residential development. If Lakehouse Commons secures project funding, development would begin for at least another year. An update on the development is expected from the city’s employees in August 2021.
The City of Oakland is currently recruiting the Homeless Administrator position to lead the city’s homeless response and provide inter-agency and intra-agency coordination.
About Council President and District 2 Council Member Nikki Fortunato Bas
Nikki Fortunato Bas is President of Oakland City Council and represents District 2, one of the most diverse boroughs in the city. Since taking office in 2019, she has been committed to community-oriented politics and budgeting. She spearheaded the passage of the strongest COVID-19 eviction moratorium in the state of California and a COVID-19 grocery worker paying a $ 5 wage bonus that covers 2,000 workers in Oakland’s largest grocery stores. She set up a fund for Community Land Trusts to prevent evictions and create permanently affordable community housing, introduced a progressive corporation tax that will be available for election in 2022, and led a task force to rethink public safety in Oakland . She led a budget team that approves a budget every two years that invests millions in violence prevention and alternative crisis responses. She is also a member of the National League of Cities’ first public safety redesign task force. For two decades, Bas pushed for worker, environmental, gender and racial justice before his 2018 election. She organized immigrant textile workers to reclaim their wages in the Chinatowns of Oakland and San Francisco, and she worked in coalitions to raise the Oakland minimum wage through paid sick leave, create living wage jobs in the Oakland Army Base redevelopment project, and reduce pollution by diesel trucks to reduce the port of Oakland. More information is available at oaklandca.gov/officials/nikki-fortunato-bas.
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