OAKLAND, CA – The number one concern for Oaklanders in the Oakland budget survey was homelessness and our unsheltered community. The point in time homeless study in Alameda County (Link to Study) shows Oakland and Alameda County increased the unsheltered community by 43% over the last two years and clearly shows we are not doing enough to assist our Oakland residents.
Said Council President Rebecca Kaplan: “We listened to the community and to the budget survey that recommended we strengthen Oakland’s response to homelessness. We see that thousands of people are in unsafe conditions on sidewalks and underpasses, and that the situation continues to worsen each year. Therefore, we have proposed budget amendments to provide for successful solutions, such as navigation centers, hiring the homeless to help improve our city, and more to help remedy this growing problem. We also will continue to work with and advocate with the County and other regional partners to strengthen our collaboration on homelessness solutions and expanding affordable housing.”
Over a year ago, the Oakland City Council passed our resolution (Link to Resolution) listing specific steps the Administration shall take to help remedy homelessness, but many of the steps in it have not yet been completed. This set of budget amendments helps fix that. The proposed budget amendments establish a mobile homeless outreach team, hires a full-time administrator to focus on coordinating services and programs, provides targeted services to homeless youth (including historically underserved communities such as LGBTQ youth and more), and funds a pilot program for self-governed encampments. It creates a navigation center, and expands temporary housing options such as tiny homes, and RVs and safe spaces to park. And the budget provides funds for storage space, mobile showers, and restrooms to help ensure sanitation and public health. (Link to Amendments)
Rebecca Kaplan is Oakland’s 3-Term At-Large Councilmember