Breaking Records! Let's Keep the Thermometer Rising!
On any given night there are an estimated 1,902 unsheltered residents on the streets of Oakland, part of the total 2,761 who are homeless in the city. Encampments have grown, risking the health and safety of both encampment residents, neighbors, and local businesses. While the housing shortage that has exacerbated this situation must be addressed by longer-term solutions, one short-term strategy is showing early signs of success.
In December 2017, the City of Oakland opened its first "Tuff Shed shelter" pilot site, housing 40 residents in 20 temporary structures, known as Tuff Sheds. The secured location, with few barriers to entry, allows residents to receive necessary services while working with case managers to transition into permanent housing. Based on the success of the first community, the City recently opened its second site at Northgate Ave. and 27th Street.
Many of our members and partners have asked how they can support this initiative. Kaiser Permanente has led the way funding a significant portion of the second site, while Sutter Health has provided major funding to purchase most of the Tuff Sheds in both locations. Additional Chamber members have provided close to $100,000 of support to fund housing and essentials for both sites. By augmenting city, county, and new state funding for homelessness interventions, these critical private sector dollars bridge funding gaps to make these projects possible.
In true Oakland fashion, there has been no shortage of individuals asking how they can help the most vulnerable among us. To continue the work begun by Kaiser, Sutter, and other members, the Chamber is launching a donation platform where individuals and businesses can donate to the "Tuff Shed" communities program. All money raised will go - via the Oakland Chamber Foundation - to fund the structures and services needed to support these interim communities. While these are not permanent solutions, they are an important step in the direction of dignity and security for our fellow Oaklanders most in need.
DONATE HERE to support Oakland's unsheltered residents.
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