Village in Oakland is a grassroots organization led by unhoused, housing insecure and formally unhoused folks, and supported by a broad network of housed volunteers and organizations.
Since 2016, we have been working to improve the quality of life of Oakland residents who have been displaced into the streets during this unprecedented housing affordability crisis; creating education and arts activities for unhoused residents; offering leadership development of unhoused residents and housed allies; opportunities for gaining media literacy and media work; and advocating for practices that will treat unhoused residents with respect and dignity and policies that will end homelessness.
The Village has evolved to become one of the leading homeless advocacy groups in Oakland and California and our work has grown into 11 programs and direct services for our people.
The Change We Want To See
We want to homelessness to be decriminalized. We believe homelessness is not a crime. The crime is a society that allows for homelessness to exist.
We want all members of our community to have access to basic life sustaining needs. Clean water, healthy food, safety, adequate health care, adequate education, living wage job – all these are basic needs everyone has the right to have access. Unfortunately thse basic life sustaining needs have become privileges and commodities and are are not within grasp for too many of our people in Oakland. Rich or poor, housed or unhoused we all should not be denied these fundamental elements of being abe to pursue life, liberty and happiness.
We want housing for all. We believe housing is a human need and human right, and that even the poorest of the poor must have access to housing. We believe it is the job of government to use public funds and resources to ensure this housing affodabity crisis and homeless state of emergency is solved with dignity, respect, compassion and leadership from unhoused residents. If public officials fail to succeed in meeting this need and protecting this right, we believe that people have the right to assert and obtain it for themselves.
- We want immediate, adequate, and dignified emergency housing with appropriate services that meets the specific needs of Oakland’s diverse unhoused communities.
- We want and end to for-profit developers stealing, hoarding and flipping houses in our neighorhoods. While they sit on thousands of empty residential units waiting for the real estate market to balloon, we estimate at least 10,000 Oaklanders are unhoused.
- We want all new permenent housing development to be 80% deeply affordable housing. For the past 21 years, gentrification has been the driving agenda that continues to create homelessness. So we want an end to building housing, retail, beer gardens for wealth people who are not yet living in Oakland. We want development that will end homelessness, prevent homelessness, improve the quality of live of the flatland’s working class and poor for generations to come.
- We want to see more working class BIPOC families pool their monies together and join existing community land trusts or start their own land trust to secure housing for generations to come.
- We want Intergeneration Home Improvement and Property Tax Relief Grants for Oakland’s BIPOC multi-generational family homes so they can avoid blight, pay back taxes, help with repairs as a way to prevent homelessness. We want to see BIPOC communities world-wide protect/maintain/reclaim/create cooperative and collective stewardship of land and land use.
We want training and jobs for Oakland’s working class and poor in these foodie, techie and hub industries. So much money and opportunity has been coming into Oakland for more than 20 years, and more is coming. This influx of resources is not reaching and benefiting Oakland’s BIPOC working class community that has been here since the early 1900s.
We want the people who are making decisions with the public’s money and resources to invest, rejuvenate, and develop Oakland’s BIPOC working class and poor communities. For decades Oakland’s Black community and other Indigenous and POC communities have been demanding and struggle to obtain access to a strong, healthy, safe, abundunt, stable, unified future. Prior to gentrification we were neglected and underfunded. Under more than 20 years of gentrification our innovative, creative, brilliant, hard-working BIPOC communities continue to be denied access to this incoming flow of income streams, opportunities, spaces, housing and recreation. The age of gentrification needs to come to an end, and the era of equitable development needs to begin.