“In the count taken in January using federal guidelines, Oakland had 861 sheltered people and 3,210 unsheltered people, bringing the estimated number of homeless people to 4,071. In 2017, Oakland had 859 sheltered people and 1,902 unsheltered residents, a total of 2,761”(Ravani). These numbers are startling. In a span of two years homelessness in Oakland has increased by a drastic amount. When outsiders come to Oakland what do they see? Lots of homeless Oakland residents, especially now because of how much homelessness has increased by. The amount of unsheltered homeless Oakland residents is also startling, especially the fact that it’s unsafe to be out in the open without shelter. Based on research procured, homelessness has increased by a drastic amount because of the increase in rent, if Oakland builds more tiny homes and provides vacant homes to families then Oakland can decrease the amount of unsheltered homeless people, providing assistance to help them get back on track can decrease the amount of homelessness overall. 

Because of the drastic increase of rent in Oakland homelessness has also increased, a solution to fix this problem is building more tiny homes and providing vacant homes to families. To begin, in an article titled “Homeless moms take over vacant West Oakland home” by Adam Brinklow. The article brings up the fact that rent has increased and that has led to more vacant homes in Oakland that can be provided to people in need. Adam Brinklow states ‘‘Moms For Housing organizers call the group ‘a collective of homeless and marginally housed mothers […] with the ultimate goal of reclaiming housing for the community from speculators and profiteers.’ The principals, Dominique Walker, 34, and Sameerah Karim, 41, are Oakland locals who both say they work more than full time but still cannot find an affordable place to live”(Brinklow). A home that’s been vacant and just sitting there for a long time is finally being put to use after two moms took matters into their own hands and put it to use and are going to help other moms. Most homeless people are working full time jobs and housing a decent amount of people in one home will allow them to use their money for groceries and necessities, they’ll be able to save their money and use it wisely. In the article titled “Community group grapples with Oakland Mayor over ‘tiny homes’ for homeless” By Liza Veale. The article brings up the fact that they have built very few tiny homes for homeless people. They are aiming to create a sober community for homeless Oakland residents. Liza Veale tells the reader“About ten volunteers are working on building two new tiny homes; three have already been completed”(Veale). If they can obtain more volunteers to build the tiny homes, than the faster they can move homeless people into the home so they can adapt to the new change of having a home. Once they are moved in they can recieve help with getting back on track. With not much of help they are building the tiny homes slowly, maybe spreading the word about tiny homes and them needing volunteers then maybe they can speed up the process.

Providing assistance to low income and homeless people may reduce homelessness in Oakland. To begin, in an article titled “Oakland tent camps point to racial bias” by Otis R. Taylor Jr, the author talks about. He states “What’s more, 48 percent said rent assistance might have prevented their homelessness while 36 percent said employment assistance would have kept them in their homes”(Taylor Jr). By providing assistance to low income and homeless people we can reduce the amount of homeless people in Oakland. Like the quote said “48 percent said rent assistance might have prevented their homelessness” Providing rent assistance alone can prevent homelessness by a big amount. Rent is increasing by a drastic amount in the Bay Area so if people that are struggling to keep their homes are assisted then we can prevent them from becoming homeless. In an interview with Liceth Ahumada an Oakland resident we basically talked about her opinion on homelessness and her opinion on providing assistance to low income people. She stated “I like the idea of providing assistance to people because it can prevent people from becoming homeless and can reduce homelessness too”(Ahumada). To reiterate Oakland residents like the idea of providing assistance to low income residents. 

In conclusion, homeless people in Oakland deserve a place to stay anything from a tiny home to a vacant home. Providing assistance to help low income people can lower the chances of homelessness in Oakland. Mothers had to take matters into their own hands and use a vacant home, Oakland residents are building tiny homes, residents want assistance to prevent their homelessness. 

Image: Shonee Stringer organizes her belongings in her tent in Oakland.
Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle

Annotated Bibliography

Brinklow, Adam. “Homeless Moms Take over Vacant West Oakland Home.” Curbed SF, Curbed SF, 21 Nov. 2019, sf.curbed.com/2019/11/21/20976301/moms-four-housing-oakland-homeless-vacant-houses-homes.

The article is talking about moms who found shelter in a vacant home. This article is credible because it was published in 2019 and its relevant to my topic because it talks about how women felt shelter.

Taylor, Otis R. “Oakland Tent Camps Point to Racial Bias.” PressReader.com – Your Favorite Newspapers and Magazines., 1 July 2017, www.pressreader.com/usa/san-francisco-chronicle/20170701/281904478196173.

The article is credible because it was originally posted by Sf chronicle and they publish a lot of articles about Oakland. The article was posted in 2017 so it wasn’t a long time ago and still applies to my topic.

Ravani, Sarah. “Oakland Homelessness Surges 47% – per-Capita Number Now Higher than SF and Berkeley.” SFChronicle.com, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 July 2019, www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Oakland-homelessness-surges-47-per-capita-14115123.php.

The article was talking about how homelssness has drastically increased in a short amount of time. This article is credible because it was published in 2019 by the SF chronicle and they’ve published tons of articles about the Bay Area.

Torres, Dayanara, and Liceth L. Ahumada. “Homelessness in Oakland.” 15 Dec. 2019.

The interview was basically about her opinion on homelessness in Oakland and what her opinion on the solutions. This interview is credible because she’s an Oakland resident and sees a lot of the homelessness in person.

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10 Comments
  1. Andrea 2 months ago

    Hello Dayanara,
    I am Andrea, a student from San Jose State University, and I enjoyed reading your post. Something that caught my attention was the picture you provided at the beginning of your post. It is shocking to see how homeless people have to make their homes out of anything they find on the streets. That lady in the picture seems very unhappy and viewing that as her reality. A while back in October, I visited Oakland, and it was so much more shocking to see homelessness in person. There were tents and garage bags everywhere, and it’s sad to think about how many people do not have stable homes. However, I was not aware of the number of people without homes until I saw the statistics you provided. I agree with you that the city of Oakland needs to do more for these people because they are also part of the community. It is mortifying to think that money can be invested in other things like new buildings but not at home for people who need it.Hello Dayanara,
    I am Andrea, a student from San Jose State University, and I enjoyed reading your post. Something that caught my attention was the picture you provided at the beginning of your post. It is shocking to see how homeless people have to make their homes out of anything they find on the streets. That lady in the picture seems very unhappy and viewing that as her reality. A while back in October, I visited Oakland, and it was so much more shocking to see homelessness in person. There were tents and garage bags everywhere, and it’s sad to think about how many people do not have stable homes. However, I was not aware of the number of people without homes until I saw the statistics you provided. I agree with you that the city of Oakland needs to do more for these people because they are also part of the community. It is mortifying to think that money can be invested in other things like new buildings but not at home for people who need it.

  2. Miguel Maes 3 months ago

    Dear Dayanara,
    Hello, my name is Miguel and I am a student at San Jose State University. I found your post very interesting and shocking. I liked how you used this in your post,”…Oakland had 861 sheltered people and 3,210 unsheltered people, bringing the estimated number of homeless people to 4,071. In 2017, Oakland had 859 sheltered people and 1,902 unsheltered residents, a total of 2,761”(Ravani).” This shows how the population of homeless people grew and makes us see the importance of this post. I feel shocked because I was never aware of the homeless population and how the increase in rent had caused so many families to lose their homes. In your research did you find out why the city of Oakland hasn’t built more tiny homes to house the homeless? You did a great job explaining the problem(homeless population) and expressing some of the solutions to help fix the problem (tiny homes and vacant homes). Great job, Thank you.

  3. Justin 4 months ago

    Hi Dayanara,

    Thanks for posting and sharing this information about homelessness in Oakland. I live in Massachusetts, but I’ve heard a lot about the difficulty finding housing in the bay area and surrounding communities in California, so it’s interesting to hear your perspective on this issue. As an English teacher, I’m excited to see the empathy that you share for underserved populations in Oakland and I hope to instill this type of mentality in my own students.

    In your research did you come across any dissenting opinions where people took a negative approach to homelessness in Oakland (blaming homeless people for their plight, etc.) or finding fault with the strategies of supplying rent assistance or building tiny houses? I would be interested to see how these dissenting opinions influenced you. Please feel free to comment back!

    Thanks again for posting!

  4. Lacey 5 months ago

    Hi Dayanara! Your blog post was so intriguing and homelessness is such an important issue to talk about. It is shocking to learn about those statistics. I liked how you talked about the solutions to this problem. The idea of building homes makes so much sense. It made me wonder who will pay for these homes? I also found myself wondering why homelessness has become such an epidemic. You mentioned that the increase in rent could be a reason why more people in Oakland are homeless. Any other reasons you came across when conducting your research? Overall great post and keep talking about this important issue!

  5. Yaritza 6 months ago

    Hello Dayanara, your writing is very important, i’m sure to a lot of people in Oakland and would also want to make a change for the homelessness in Oakland. Something you said that stands out for me is “Oakland had 859 sheltered people and 3,210 unsheltered people.” Also the sentence “In 2017, Oakland hd 859 sheltered people and 1,902 unsheltered residents, a total of 2,761.” This is important information for people to know so they can find solutions for homeless people. Thank you for sharing your sharing your writing. I look forward on seeing more on your writing.

  6. Fanny 6 months ago

    Dear dayanara, I think your post was interesting because it is important that not every where peoples have homes. I agree with you because Oakland needs to do something for this peoples. Maybe if many people read your blog it will change their feelings and they will do more for Homeless.Thanks for writing and keep it up.

  7. Mashlin 6 months ago

    Homlessness is now seen so much all around the world. And it is hard to believe how the United States hasn’t been able to help those who are homeless in our own country.Yes, prices have gone up drastically that it is even hard for people who work and have their own jobs. In Oakland, and California, there is a lot of homeless people all around and it is very upsetting because these people all have the opportunity to work but for specific reasons, they are on the streets. We are all humans and we all need a helping hand.

    • Author
      Dayanara 6 months ago

      Thank you for reading my blog it’s very appreciated. I also agree with you on how everybody is human and deserves to be helped. What do you think is another solution to help homelessness ?

  8. Edith 6 months ago

    Dear Dayanara, the statistics you’ve provided really did startled me. The idea of building tiny houses and turn vacant homes occupied is a goal we as a community in Oakland should accomplished; to decrease the growth of homelessness in our city. You’ve said, “If they can obtain more volunteers to build the tiny homes, than the faster they can move homeless people into the home so they can adapt to the new change of having a home.” Participation and volunteers is the key to building these tiny houses and occupied vacant homes. But if nobody is willing to advocate this huge issue in Oakland, homelessness will just continue to spread. Not only that but these innocent homeless people have a higher chance of dying by the age of 50 than those that have shelter. According to an articled named Oakland’s Homeless Americans Die Uncounted As Mayor Protects Illegal Immigrants, it reads, “It should go without saying that homelessness elevates an individual’s risk of illness, injury and death. Having little access to health care or healthy food, even homeless people living in milder climates like, for example, the Bay Area, pass away decades earlier than people who have access to housing and health-care” (Durden). Due to the lack of health care or just anything that’s healthy, increases their chance of dying or having serious health issues later in life. If we don’t have participants to help reduce homelessness growing in our city, tons of innocent people will die. How will we motivate Oakland residents to help solve this huge problem? Thank you for writing this, Dayanara. Your statistics clearly connect to your points.

  9. Elizabeth 6 months ago

    Dear Dayanara,
    Like you, I believe that if we give a helping hand, we could get rid of homelessness. When you say “Providing rent assistance alone can prevent homelessness by a big amount. Rent is increasing by a drastic amount in the Bay Area so if people that are struggling to keep their homes are assisted then we can prevent them from becoming homeless”, it reminds me of other articles that I have read. I agree that rent is the main reason for many problems like homelessness, but we also have to keep in mind that usage of drugs might be involved. You said that “Once they are moved in they can receive help with getting back on track”, but should this be the way we do things? Or should we start with finding the homeless who are addicts and help rehabilitate them before getting them into homes where they might harm their neighbors? In the article The Crisis – Oakland Homelessness Response, it states that “California accounts for 50 percent of the nation’s homeless population.There are many reasons behind these staggering statistics. Skyrocketing housing costs, a housing inventory deficit, and a decrease in state funding are all contributing forces.” There is not enough state funding so if you are not able to get the tiny homes in your plan, do you think that getting the government to give the homeless their own park to live in tents would be the second best option? How will you get the state to fund for these tiny homes and where would you build them, and how will you make sure that the rent doesn’t get too high? This article was a great read, thank you for writing it.

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