Why do you think people are homeless and living on the streets? Do you think it is their fault? What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Oakland? Homelessness has a big impact on Oakland representing the city and community. A way to fix homelessnes is to lower rent prices because high rent is a leading cause of people losing their house. This can also benefit people who don’t have the money to maintain their house and are on the verge of losing their house. The homelessness population is 4,071 in Oakland, it rose by 47% from 2017 to 2019. This information is from the article titled, “Oakland’s per-capita homeless rate is higher than San Francisco and Berkeley”(Oakland’s per-capita homeless rate is higher than San Francisco and Berkeley). With homelessness increasing, it is becoming an illogical impediment. The reason why homelessness increasing is a illogical impediment  is because it is an obstacle that the community needs to overcome, but it is illogical that the community, isn’t doing anything to prevent homelessness from increasing even more.

Based on the information collected from interviews, and research, homelessness increased because of expensive housing and not because of homeless people being, “drug addicts and alcoholics.” One reason why homelessness increased was because of expensive housing. From 2017 to 2019 homelessness increased by 47 percent. The main cause of homelessness according to the article titled, “Homelessness in Oakland”, it says,  “(1) lack of affordable housing, (2) unemployment, (3) poverty, and (4) low wages, in that order.” (Homelessness in Oakland). Also in an interview with a current homeless person, when they were asked if they think that increasing employment will decrease homelessness, and if they think that there is an inadequate amount of jobs,  they said, “no , but if they decrease the rent prices then there would be less homeless people.” (anonymous). This shows that employment isn’t as big as a problem as expensive housing. In an article titled, “The Crisis” it states, “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.” (The Crisis) This proves that expensive housing is a big problem.

Stereotypes affect all homeless people, not just the ones where those stereotypes apply. A stereotype about homeless people is that they’re drug addicts and alcoholics. In an article titled, “Oakland homeless camps point to racial bias”, published on July 1st, 2017, it talks about how a stereotype about homeless people is that their mentally ill, or drug addicts, or not even trying to work for money but trying to get it from other people by handouts. But if you actually talk to someone then you will know that they are homeless because they can’t keep a roof over their head (Oakland homeless camps point to racial bias). Those stereotypes affect all homeless people because in an interview with Jacqueline Webster, when I asked if she gives homeless people money when they ask, and she said, “No, because I don’t know if they are just going to spend it on drugs, but if I have food or snacks on me, I will offer them some” (Webster). This affects all homeless people because someone might be starving or thirsty, but people will be hesitant to give them money because they just think that they will just spend it on drugs or alcohol. 

Homelessness does not really have any positive outcomes but it has quite a few negative outcomes. A negative outcome of homelessness said by Hannah perez is, “they make a mess which causes a big problem for the community, which takes taxes to take money to pay people to clean up after them.” (Perez). Most homeless people are not making a mess they are just making encampments which other people might see it as a “mess”.

Now back to that question, why do you think people are homeless, and living on the streets? Is it their fault that their homeless? Next time you hear Oakland, hopefully homelessness doesn’t come to mind. Homelessness is a big problem in Oakland with the homelessness population increasing, society, and Oakland residents are being semiconscious about homelessness, because they see homeless people, but they don’t do anything to help them. A way to help prevent homelessness can be to lower rent prices because that is the main cause of homlessness. Most homeless people become homeless because of expensive housing and not because they are alcoholics and/or drug addicts. Hopefully, the community overcomes the impediment of homelessness so that people can live a better life and no longer be homeless.

Annotated bibliography

“The Crisis.” Oakland Homeless Response, City of Oakland, 2018, www.oaklandhomelessresponse.com/the-problem.

This article talks about the big problem with homelessness and statistics. This article passes the CRAAP test because it is current and it was made in 2018 by the city of Oakland. This article is also purposeful and relevant because it is enlightening others on homelessness.

.“Homelessness in Oakland.” National Law Center on Homelessness & POVERTY, nlchp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Homeless_Stats_Fact_Sheet.pdf.

This article talks about some root causes about homelessness and one of the main reasons why women are homeless. Domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women and some of the other main reasons people are homeless are because they can’t afford it, don’t have a job, poverty, and low wages.This article passes the CRAAP test because the purpose of the article was to show the main causes of homelessness and it did that.

Jr, Otis R. Taylor. “Oakland Homeless Camps Point to Racial Bias.” SFChronicle.com, San Francisco Chronicle, 1 July 2017, www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Oakland-homeless-camps-point-to-racial-bias-11260015.php.

The article talks about some stereotypes about homeless people. For example that their mentally ill, or drug addicts.This article passes the CRAAP test because it is current, it was published on July 1st, 2017. This article is also relevant because it relates to my topic about homelessness.

Lautaimi, Jacqueline Siolani, and Jacqueline Kay Webster. “Homelessness Interview.” 23 Nov. 2019.

The interview for Jacqueline was to see homelessness from her point of view because she was once homeless in the past. This person is credible because they know what it’s like to be homeless and how hard it is to get a place to live since housing is really expensive.

Lautaimi, Jacqueline Siolani, and Hannah Perez. “Homelessness Interview.” 25 Nov. 2019.

The interview with Hannah was to see her perspective of homeless people and her opinion as someone who has never been homeless. Hannah passes by homeless people on a daily basis, so she was interviewed to see her opinion on homeless people even though she doesn’t exactly know the struggle or how difficult it is to be homeless. Hannah passes the CRAAP test because her interview was purposeful and it was to see her perspective on homelessness.

Lautaimi, Jacqueline Siolani. “Homelessness Interview.” 28 Nov. 2019.

This person wanted to stay anonymous but, this person is a current homeless person, and the reason I chose to interview them, was because homelessness is my topic and I wouldn’t want to make a blog without including information from someone who experiences homelessness on a daily basis. The interviewee passes the CRAAP test because they are relevant, and they are what my topic is based off of. Also because this person has first hand knowledge about homelessness.

Pena, Luz. “Oakland’s per-Capita Homeless Rate Is Higher than San Francisco and Berkeley.” ABC7 San Francisco, 24 July 2019, abc7news.com/society/oaklands-per-capita-homeless-rate-is-higher-than-san-francisco-and-berkeley/5414217/.

The article talks about the homeless population and how many homeless people there are in Oakland. This article is credible because it was published, june 23rd, 2019. Also it is a reliable source because the author is a journalist that won 9 emmys for journalism named luz pena and works for abc7news.


CC BY-SA 4.0 Struggles Being Homeless In Oakland by Jaqueline is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  1. Leni 2 weeks ago

    It seems that you are passionate about this topic Jacqueline and this is great! The rise in homelessness is unbelievable. I would like to see more quotes from your interviews. This helps your argument by making it authentic and real for the readers. In the second paragraph, you ask two questions to homeless people about increasing employment and adequate jobs. This made me think about the possibility of people working, but who are homeless. It’s very hard to live because you have to make a certain amount of money/income to afford housing. You mention that people are not homeless because they are “drug addicts and alcoholics.” Why did you use quotations? I understand that this may be a common stereotype, but I was wondering if you got this from one of your sources.

  2. Daven 3 weeks ago

    Jacqueline, I really appreciate that you redirect a lot of the common criticisms and perceptions about people who are living on the streets. It is not always about addictions, not wanting to work or not wanting an actual home. I appreciate that you tried to always backup your claims with evidence.

    You make a big argument for lowering rent costs, which is fair and complicated. Your post leaves me wondering about what organizations and elected officials in Oakland are doing the most to create low cost housing. I live in Berkeley and know some small success is being made in the east bay, but definitely not enough. As you say, it’s really up to each of us to push for solutions. Thanks.

  3. Terri 4 weeks ago

    Dear Jacqueline,
    Homelessness is a problem in so many cities. You have proposed a clear question “why do you think people are homeless, and living on the streets? Is it their fault that their homeless?” and offered a reason why citizens are homeless: lowering the cost of rent/mortgages. You have tackled the stereotype that “all homeless are ill or addicts.” There are so many reasons that a person may become homeless beyond drug addiction – disability, mental illness, criminal background, lost job or unemployed, etc. My question to you and others is how do we create a lower cost of living for those who struggle to afford a home? Is it the government’s responsibility to provide low income housing in their cities and towns? Usually when a local government proposes building low income housing – the local citizens combat the proposal. They do not want local income housing next door to their homes. Perhaps it is not the government’s role to address homelessness?

  4. Jackson 2 months ago


    I live in Berkeley and the downtown area has around 30 homeless people, do you think that they should be relocated, if so than where. I do appreciate how analytical your blog post is. When you said “lower rent prices” could prevent homlesnes, I would disagree because if there were houses or apartments that are empty than the prices would go down in those homes, but the problem lies more in the fact that there is no uninhabited housing to be lowered.

  5. Isaiah 2 months ago

    Dear Jacqueline,

    I think your post very positive and informational because homeless people really do not have a platform to speak their mind. I feel it is important that the homeless get to share their experiences as every human should. I feel that in a way you captured that in this article. One comment I can make on this piece is about he quote, ” Is it their fault that their homeless?”. Since it is a question, yes I do believe that most people who are homeless is due to their own actions. Whether it is drugs, bad affiliation or alcohol. It still is their choice at the end of the day. Thanks for writing this piece. Keep it up thooter.

  6. Joshua 3 months ago

    Dear, Isaiah

    I feel connected with your post “Struggles Being Homeless In Oakland” Because I can see why you want to fix homelessness in Oakland, The rent for houses are high now in then and people cant afford to buy a house and it is tough to see people living in tent on the streets just because they can’t afford a house. One sentence that stood out for me is “A stereotype about homeless people is that they’re drug addicts and alcoholics.” This stood out for me because people assume a lot of things about homeless people thinking they are “crack addicts” I don’t think all homeless people are not drug abusers they have their life choices. They can had made a promise to themselves to not do drugs or drink alcohol even if they are homeless or not. However one thing that I disagree with was “A way to fix homelessness is to lower rent prices because high rent is a leading cause of people losing their house.” Have you ever thought about people who are homeless they can live in homelessness camps which people who work there can help feed the homeless people and give them a place to stay for awhile.

  7. Jennifer 3 months ago


    I agree with your post “Struggles Being Homeless In Oakland” because since I am an Oakland resident myself, I have also noticed that Homelessness has been a huge problem here in this city. One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “…But if you actually talk to someone then you will know that they are homeless because they can’t keep a roof over their head…” I think this is important to know because I feel like homeless folks don’t become homeless on purpose, it’s just very difficult for them to be able to pay for their costs to live under the roof. Another sentence that stood out to me was: “Hopefully, the community overcomes the impediment of homelessness so that people can live a better life and no longer be homeless.” This stood out for me because it made me & hopefully other readers that we shouldn’t just stand there and watch them sleep on the streets, instead we should help them out and not let them suffer alone. Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because it made me realize that not all people on the streets choose to be homeless or want money for drugs. Some actually want to improve and be able to have a roof over their heads. Again, thanks for sharing your piece of writing, I look forward to reading more.

    • Author
      Jaqueline 2 months ago

      Thank you so much for reading my blog. The part of your comment that stood out to me was, ” we shouldn’t just stand there and watch them sleep on the streets, instead we should help them out and not let them suffer alone.” I agree with you because the homeless population is just increasing and there is not many people doing anything to help. Look forward to hearing back!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.

CC BY-SA 4.0All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


We welcome new members. You can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Missions on Youth Voices

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?


Create Account