During the pandemic, the work of Feed The People tripled in scope.
We increased our hot meal service to 750 hot meals a week; we added grocery distribution and shared 240 bags of grocery bags per week. We passed out 300 units of Covid19 personal sanitation packages per week; and 100-200 hygiene bags per week. We share 1,600 bottles of dricking water per week. We expanded distribution services to unhoused communities in Berkeley and San Francisco. And in Oakland we expanded services to housed senior citizens and families with children who are facing food scarcity during the pandemic.
Sanitation On a Streets Expanded During the Pandemic…
We started setting up porta potties and handwashing stations at curbside communities that do not have facilities. In total we were able to provide 12 portapotties/handwashing stations/hand sanitizer stations at 11 curbside communities.
And we created the County and City’s first Pandemic Hotel Program…
Sheltering in place is the most effective way to save lives, but unhoused folks cannot exercise such privilege. However, we do not exist in a vacuum – we still go to gas stations, grocery stores, and visit housed family. So providing stable shelter for the unhoused is a crucial public health intervention for all of Oakland’s residents.
With our partners Love & Justice in the Streets & The East Oakland Collective, Our Covid-19 specific effort Fill Hotels Not Graves moved 47 most vulnerable unhoused folks into hotels for over a year – with community funding via GoFundMe and grants. This program was for seniors, folks with medical conditions that compromise immune systems, families with small children, and pregnant women. An overwhelming majority of these residents were African Americans, and 48 and older.
As of mid-July 2021, all 47 households have been exited. Many residents were able to exit into permanent housing. Several residents were moved into Alameda County’s Safer Ground Transitional COVID Hotel program, which navigated them into permanent housing. Some residents were exited into RVs or campers. A handful were exited into tiny homes on wheels.
We had medical professionals, and staff from Homeless Action Center visit our two hotel sites; we delivered weekly groceries, sanitation supplies, and hot meals twice a week for those who wanted the provisions.
To serve folks who did not qualify for #FillHotelsNotGraves, we doubled our tiny home building efforts, and built 14 emergency tiny homes that housed 20 people.