The Village is a movement in Oakland, CA of unhoused and formally unhoused leaders and housed allies who assert housing is a human right and homelessness is not a crime. We use a diversity of tactics to reach these two goals: direct action and policy reform; direct service and support; leadership development and education; media work and advocacy; upgrading of curbside communities and improving the quality of life of the streets; adverse possession, purchasing private property, and occupying unused and neglected public land.
The following are the programs and services of The Village:
- Feed The People (hot meal, grocery and provisions distribution to curbside communities)
- SOS – Sanitation Ona Streets (portapotties, hand washing stations, trash management services in curbside communities)
- Housing & Dignity Building Team (building emergency tiny homes, communal kitchens, and solar showers in curbside communities)
- GAS IT! Grant (connecting unhoused folks with donations of vehicles)
- Cardboard & Concrete Collective (unhoused artist collective)
- Word on The Curb (media for the streets, by the streets)
- Street Smarts (an education program that combines leadership development, know your rights trainings, and decolonizing curriculum by and for unhoused residents)
- Hotels Not Graves – COVID19 Emergency Shelter in Place (hotel voucher program for Oakland’s most vulnerable unhoused residents)
- Streetcation – Hotel Voucher Program to give folks a few days of respite from the streets
- Fight The Power! (policy education and advocacy)
follow us on fb @TheVillageIn Oakland – #feedthepeople join one of our volunteer committees
contact us 510-355-7010
donate towards out efforts to build emergency shelters, upgrade curbside communities, provide provisions, and share meals & groceries click here
our COVID19 emergency work:
check this clip about our state wide campaign.
#NoVacancyCa in Oakland started an all volunteer effort to immediate shelter unhoused seniors, families with children, and unsheltered with serious pre-existing medical conditions. Please keep our program going by sharing https://www.gofundme.com/f/hotels-not-graves with all your housed friends, neighbors, and family!
If you can comfortable survive during this pandemic, please consider using your funds towards shelter someone who may not survive this pandemic without a roof over their head and a shower to bathe daily.
During this Covid19 pandemic it is absolutely clear – housing isn’t just a basic human right, it is health care when we speak of the unhoused
Let’s be honest, this health crisis and the government’s response (or lack of one) is showing not only how deep the inequalities are in our society, but how deep anti-homeless, anti-Black and anti-poverty runs thru the decision makers and power brokers. Before the pandemic, The Village was in the trenches and the halls of power fighting for the basic right and need of housing – for all! And has taken an invisible virus to shine light how essential adequate shelter is for our unhoused brothers and sisters.
There are currently thousands of unsheltered people in Oakland, over 70% of whom are Black. The few hundred hotel rooms currently provided by Alameda County to house unsheltered folks who have tested positive or who are from very vulnerable demographics (seniors, immune compromised) are vastly insufficient to protect the lives of Oakland’ most vulnerabel residents and prevent the spread of Covid19.
Meanwhile, at least 1,500 hotel rooms remain empty and unused, while the City of Oakland has done nothing to secure even one hotel room for our unhoused neighbors.
As we wait for the city and county to take meaningful and scalable action on this crisis, unsheltered residents remain unable to properly protect themselves. Only after an encampment resident was tested positive for Covid19 were other exposed residents offered hotel rooms. Waiting until people get sick or die before offering shelter goes against all public health recommendations, is immoral and deepens the health dispartities in Oakland’s Black & Brown working class and poor communities.
The Village in Oakland, The East Oakland Collective and Love & Justice in The Streets are already movingunhoused seniors/immune compromised/families with children into hotel rooms. There is no time to waste!
The challenges and inequities aren’t going anywhere, and neither are we. But this is our time to make sure the needs of adequate shelter is met in times of crisis. You can literally save lives by donating to our GoFundMe. Your contribution will enable us move dozens of unhoused brothers and sisters off the streets and into hotels to Shelter in Place.
Click the link below to hear directly from people we have been able to shelter in hotels because of your donations. Thank you!
- Provide immediate support and advocacy to our curbside residents including but not limited to hot meals, groceries, provisions, connecting folks to services and resources, encampment upgrades.
- Develop curbside residents as leaders and advocates for the unsheltered.
- Advocate and work on policies and legislation that decriminalize homelessness, protect the human and civil rights of curbside communities, hold government bodies accountable during this affordable housing crisis and homeless state of emergency.
- Use and make replicable The Village housing model as a new form of Rapid Rehousing – both permanent and transitional.
- Create Supportive Housing in a holistic way that will lead towards a path of self sufficency.
- Create a path towards financial security with financial literacy, job training, job opportunities and opportunities to be part of worker owned collectives and collective home ownership.
In the beginning…
The idea is simple and as ancient as human history – it takes The Village. We are a network of seasoned community activists and organizers, artists, unhoused leaders, grassroots and non-profit leaders, family and friends, business people and housed allies who believe homelessness is not a crime, housing a human right and that we need to ensure home for all by any and all means. Since December 2016 up until this point we have been driven thru 100% volunteerism and 100% community donations.
The Village started as a direct action that became a movement. We are now moving towards becoming a supported housing development and management agency, a non profit service provider, and a job opportunity program for our curbside residents. What will makes us different than the multitude of homeless non-profits in existence? Our approach is radical and innovative. It was informed by the current affordable housing crisis and homeless state of emergency we are experiencing and designed to help put an end to it.
We started off with a vision that was inspired by the audacity of Occupy/Decolonize Oakland and the healing powers of Standing Rock/Osechi Sakowin. We were driven by an urgency to immediately build emergency shelter and sportive services while City Hall ignored the growing crisis. It would be a radical and beautiful community labor of love that would pressure the buerocrats to DO SOMETHING. And that is exactly what we did.
Little did we know that years later we would still be building emergency homes, providing services, and pushing the beurocrats to do something humane and impactful. All while creating of a new model of temporary AND permanent rapid rehousing, employment and support services for curbside communities.
As our vision (and the political climate) becomes a reality, the depth and scope of work points to a need for sustainability. We are at a juncture – and have made a decision to establish a solid foundation so that housing security can be gained for generations to come from those in poverty to those struggling economically in The New Oakland.
The Bay Area is seeing an influx of wealth, housing and jobs like we’ve never seen. But none of this abundance is for Oakland’s generations deep working class and low income Black and POC communities. We realize only a community driven response will be the catalyst for immediate, alternative forms to permanent housing. We realize that creating stable, full and part time positions for curbside residents and couch surfers WHILE housing them is one of the best approaches to this crisis rooted in deep inequity.
Whether it be lack of job training, a deficit of local outreach to the Oaklanders, or discrimination – not having access to this wave of employment is directly linked to not having access to this inflated housing market. How can Oakland’s working class and lower income communities afford the raising cost of living if they cannot access the jobs that will support the new economic culture of their homeland?
Thru careful analysis of the economic climate coupled with extended surveys to the unsheltered, we realize that in order to achieve self-sufficiency and secure adequate permanent housing being players in a competitive job market is part of the solution to preventing and ending homelessness
As we build our future of stability, sanctuary and sustainability – we continue to remain in the trenches. We continue to provide food, provisions, advocacy, temporary upgraded housing, and education for Oakland’s curbside communities. We assert, ensure, protect, advocate and co-create basic needs and rights of Oakland residents who have fallen victim of the housing crisis and homeless state of emergency. Check out our Get Active! page to plug into our on going volunteer opportunities. Housed and Unhoused folks both encouraged to join and work side by side.
We continue to believe using a diversity of tactics to reach our goals is necessary in the current political, economic and historic moment we are in: direct action and policy reform; adverse possession and purchasing lands; reparations and self-determination; serve the unsheltered and self-governance of unsheltered. We assert housing is a human right, that there are enough public resources to house all Oakland residents, and that homelessness is not a crime.
#HousingIsAHumanRight #HomesForAll #HomelessnessIsNotACrime