Village in Oakland is run off volunteer power. We believe homelessness, especially in its current state of emergency, is a humanitarian crisis that we want to end forever. Ending homelessness and supporting unhoused folks should not be a career choice, rather a moral obligation.
We have a pool of more than 150 volunteers from all walks of life that support our 11 programs and services, help with administration, secure funding and donations, and show up when we put out the call for non-violent direct actions or packing City Hall meetings.
Our Leadership Council are key volunteers who help steer Village in Oakland and manifest our mission and vision. A majority of the council are unhoused (living on the streets) or housing insecure (living in squats, couch surfing, etc). Other members are housed volunteers who were part of the original Feed The People crew. All are practitioners of non-violent Direct Action.
Anita De Asis Miralle aka Needa Bee is a mother, community activist, spoken word artist and chef. She was the Community Organizer for HERE Local 2 Restaurant and Hotel Workers’ Union; the former Executive Co-Director of both Critical Resistance Youth Force and Raperations Records; the former Program Manager of Mandela Arts Center. She was the founder of several organizations including Young Oakland, Healthy Hoodz, and 510Day. She is the co-founder and interim executive director of The Village in Oakland, volunteering in general with Village in Oakland. When she is not engaging in community work or creating art, the legendary Lumpia Lady of Oakland. To learn more about Needa Bee.
Joyous Efiya De Asis Miralle
Born and raised in Oakland, Joyous co-founded The Feed The People program with her mother Needa Bee in January 2016. She currently is the Program Coordinator for Feed The People and Village in Oakland’s newest service The Soul Food Shack, and serves as a volunteer on Village in Oakland administration team. At the age of 10 she founded Young Oakland. She has worked as a peer-educator with Girls Rock Camp, the GIRL Project, and the theater project at East Side Arts Alliance. She is the former Gallery Manager at Pro Arts Gallery. She is a talented dancer, writer and visual artist. She helps run her family’s 30 year old food service business – The Lumpia Lady/The Lumpia Shack. She has plans to open a brick and mortar Lumpia Shack in Deep East Oakland and Richmond California with the Oaxxanda Collective.
Born in 1973 in San Francisco, Ayat is the son of members of the Black Panther Party. Raised in Washington DC, Jalal came back to the Bay Ares in 1989 to work with his father in the family carpentry business and go to school. In 2000 Ayat started his own carpentry business. He is the former President of the Florida Black Historical Reasearch Project, Inc. He is a co-founder of First They Came For The Homeless. He currently is a lead builder of The Village’s Housing and Dignity Building Team. He is also a founding member of the Cardboard and Concrete Unhoused Artists Collective. He participates in the Homeless Advocacy Working Group to advocate for the humanity of and the right to exist. He serves on the The Village’s Feed The People Program. He also is a first responder for encampment crisis and eviction defense/support of curbside communities.
Joddi Everett Le’Grande
Born in Oakland and raised throughout the Bay Area, Jodii has been unhoused or housing insecure most his life. This single father is a gamer, a tech wiz, a wordsmith and has a love of agriculture. He volunteers on the The Village’s admin team doing tech support, and is a member of the Cardboard and Concrete Collective.
Bobby is a co-founder of The Village. He is the former lead builder of The Housing & Dignity Build Team and Feed The People. Born in Mexico in 1974, Bobby immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 10 years old. He has been unhoused, deported or incarcerated countless times since he was 12 years old. He is currently serving time in Riverside County Prison, and is awaiting a hearing to obtain political assylum from Mexico. He serves as an advisor to The Village in Oakland thru regular scheduled phone calls to the Leadership Council.
Bio coming soon.
Board of Directors
Janny Castillo has been a civil and economic rights activist for over 18 years. Her personal experience with homelessness fuels her passion to help reduce the effects of systemic poverty in California. She is the Director of the St. Mary’s Center Community and Outreach Services which includes the St. Mary’s Center Hope and Justice Program where older adults age 55 and older, housed and unhoused participate in social justice activities that improve quality of life for extremely low-income seniors and families. Under her leadership, St. Mary’s Center seniors actively participate in Housing California’s Residents United Network, The Senior Services Coalition, Californians for Retired Americans, and the SSI for Californians Coalition; instrumental in expanding CalFresh to SSI recipients. She has been a member of the Homeless Advocacy Working Group since 2017, and currently serves on The CIty of Oakland’s Homeless Commission.
Helen Wyman – Treasurer
Helen Wyman is a Community Banking Officer/Associate Vice President at the Oakland Branch of Community Bank of the Bay. CBB serves the financial needs of closely held businesses and professional service firms, as well as their owner-operators and non-profit organizations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Born and raised in Oakland, Helen has a degree in Cultural Anthropology. As one of the founders of Oakland Events and Oakland Grown, Helen advocates for small businesses and champions a thriving local economy. She supports her clients by offering practical solutions to connect community businesses to resources that support their growth and success.
Helen exemplifies the deeply-invested, community-building spirit of CBB. She is committed to financial empowerment, equity and social justice. Recently, she joined The Village in Oakland as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors, a grassroots nonprofit that provides food, shelter, sanitation, and dignity to homeless residents of Oakland. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Council of Alameda County (ICAC), which runs Oakland first Safe Overnight Parking Program for residents of Alameda County that are living in their vehicles.