Date   

Re: Increased Houselessness As Federal Eviction Moratorium Ends?

Brian Hoop
 

Following up on Elise's note about expiration of the federal eviction moratorium... The National Low Income Housing Coalition has asked for people and organizations within Representative Kurt Schrader's district to contact him today to support a vote that may take place soon to extend the federal eviction moratorium.   Here is the district map - https://www.congress.gov/member/district/kurt-schrader/S001180?r=404
Ideal for people living in Clackamas County Oregon City, Milwaukie, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Gladstone, Happy Valley, Wilsonville, etc.

Below is suggested message 
Brian

Please email and/or call  Representative Schrader's office ASAP on Friday - Sample message below - 
DC office - 202-225-5711 - simply leave message in bold below
Email Representative Schrader's appropriate staff:
Simone Auger - Housing advisor, legislative assistant - simone.auger@...
Kelly Nickel - Legislative Director - kelly.nickel@...


Subject line:  Support legislation TODAY to extend federal eviction moratorium issued by CDC which is expiring

Simone and Kelly - 

Introduction - your name, organization, and brief description if appropriate.

I urge Representative Schrader to support legislation to extend the federal eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is set to expire this weekend. Without this protection, the 6.5 million renter households currently behind on their rent will be at heightened risk of losing their homes – and with them, their ability to keep themselves and their families safe. 

Given the growing danger of the coronavirus Delta variant and the significant health and safety risks it poses, Congress should immediately extend the federal eviction moratorium issued by the CDC until vaccination rates increase in the lowest-income and most marginalized communities that face the greatest risk of eviction. The eviction moratorium extends vital protections to renters at risk of eviction during the pandemic, and by doing so, it has helped keep stably housed millions of people who otherwise would have been evicted.

Evictions put lives at risk and strain our already overstretched public health systems. In fact, research shows that evictions occurring between the beginning of the pandemic and the issuance of the CDC moratorium in September led to more than 400,000 additional COVID-19 cases and nearly 11,000 additional deaths.

The emergence of the Delta variant necessitates a further extension of the CDC eviction moratorium to contain the spread of the deadly disease. As stated by CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on July 22, 2021, “the Delta variant is more aggressive and much more transmissible than previously circulating strains. It is one of the most infectious respiratory viruses we know of, and that I have seen in my 20-year career.”

Sincerely,  YOUR NAME
-- 
Brian Hoop
Housing Oregon
Executive Director
P: 503-475-6056 
PO Box 8427
Portland, OR 97207

Pronouns: He/Him/His


On Fri, Jul 30, 2021 at 12:22 PM Elise Aymer <elise@...> wrote:
" On Thursday, the White House confirmed it would let the moratorium expire because the supreme court said it would block additional extensions unless they were authorized by Congress. "
Source: The Guardian article linked to below

Apparently, some legislators in the US House of Representatives are crafting a bill that would extend the federal eviction moratorium urged on by the Biden administration. 

Note that Oregon's eviction moratorium ended June 30th and not everyone qualified for Federal protection. 

My understanding is that in Multnomah County renters (thanks to a vote by County Commissioners) have an additional 90 days from the end of the Oregon moratorium during which they are still protected from eviction. There was a similar grace period affected at the state level. 

For homeowners, many who have also been struggling to make payments and therefore stay housed, Gov. Kate Brown also signed legislation to extend the mortgage foreclosure moratorium until September. 

What will happen after?

Without an extension the Federal moratorium ends tomorrow, leaving millions of Americans behind on their rent and unable to pay or to find other lodgings (if they have orders filed against them). State emergency rental assistance programs don't seem able to keep up and some landlords won't accept the funds from the programs.

What will happen to these millions of people? Already homelessness isn't being properly addressed. And then of course, more people entering shelters now (if there are spaces) will probably mean increasing rates of COVID-19, with the Delta variant being as transmissible as chicken pox.

On this subject:



Increased Houselessness As Federal Eviction Moratorium Ends?

Elise Aymer
 

" On Thursday, the White House confirmed it would let the moratorium expire because the supreme court said it would block additional extensions unless they were authorized by Congress. "
Source: The Guardian article linked to below

Apparently, some legislators in the US House of Representatives are crafting a bill that would extend the federal eviction moratorium urged on by the Biden administration. 

Note that Oregon's eviction moratorium ended June 30th and not everyone qualified for Federal protection. 

My understanding is that in Multnomah County renters (thanks to a vote by County Commissioners) have an additional 90 days from the end of the Oregon moratorium during which they are still protected from eviction. There was a similar grace period affected at the state level. 

For homeowners, many who have also been struggling to make payments and therefore stay housed, Gov. Kate Brown also signed legislation to extend the mortgage foreclosure moratorium until September. 

What will happen after?

Without an extension the Federal moratorium ends tomorrow, leaving millions of Americans behind on their rent and unable to pay or to find other lodgings (if they have orders filed against them). State emergency rental assistance programs don't seem able to keep up and some landlords won't accept the funds from the programs.

What will happen to these millions of people? Already homelessness isn't being properly addressed. And then of course, more people entering shelters now (if there are spaces) will probably mean increasing rates of COVID-19, with the Delta variant being as transmissible as chicken pox.

On this subject:



Unhoused Bill of Rights - US House of Representatives

Elise Aymer
 

US Congressperson Coi Bush (D-Missouri) has put forward a bill in the House of Representatives aimed at addressing homelessness and the issues of the unhoused. She herself has been unhoused.

I am linking here to her press release as it seems to provide a greater breakdown of the bill than the news articles on it I've read as well as a link (if you scroll down) to the actual text: https://bush.house.gov/media/press-releases/congresswoman-cori-bush-introduces-unhoused-bill-rights-first-ever-federal

It's positive to see a Congress member put a bill like this forward at this time when COVID-19 supports are ending, the eviction moratorium is ending, etc. (I have not read it closely so I don't have an assessment of its merits yet). I just have not seen much other attention at the federal level to homelessness, poverty and affordability. It is seeming like many are okay to return to business as usual.

I wish I could be more hopeful about its adoption. Given what the Senate looks like, I would think that Bush's bill may pass the House and then get no further.

Elise







Re: Article: Shipping containers used to build LA housing complex for the homeless

Charlotte
 

has anyone calculated the cost per unit here.

On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 5:25 PM Angie Gilbert <kaytayang@...> wrote:
American firms NAC Architecture and Bernards have used shipping containers to form private apartments in a Los Angeles facility for people experiencing homelessness. The Hilda L Solis Care First …

View the article.
https://flip.it/7zF968

View the article + more on Flipboard.
https://flip.it/lfCXMO

Find your favorite topics on Flipboard. Download here.
https://flip.it/q2c-.t 



--
At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you. Whatever you can do or dream you can do begin it now. Boldness has genius, magic and power in it. Goethe
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”  Buckminster Fuller

Charlotte 001  787-366-9344, 541 579 8607 



Article: Shipping containers used to build LA housing complex for the homeless

Angie Gilbert
 

American firms NAC Architecture and Bernards have used shipping containers to form private apartments in a Los Angeles facility for people experiencing homelessness. The Hilda L Solis Care First …

View the article.
https://flip.it/7zF968

View the article + more on Flipboard.
https://flip.it/lfCXMO

Find your favorite topics on Flipboard. Download here.
https://flip.it/q2c-.t 


Re: Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland-NY Times

Charlotte
 

hello amalie and oher housing folks.    i do ot have connections in portland to work with people there.  i am wanting to work in eugene.

i put this on this forum as i thought others might tell me of similar programs and i would learn more.  maybe someone is already doing something like this.   and also i think this is a great idea.

square one village here in eugene s is building small permanent units in their c street complex for what sounds like 70,000.  

i wonder if we can get these numbers down on permanent housing.  (below 70,000 for 1 bedroom unit.  

i was hoping to get my foot in the door so to speak by helping the people who need to repair their homes, if they are interested to supply the money to do this by somehow working with transition housing on their homes, as well as permanent housing.

part of my vision is to some of the building with some of the homeless.  i personally have been homeless for 20 years.  i choose to not  be involved in the rat race, rather wanting to make a contribution to the community i live in as well as to solve problems such as climate change.  i am sure there are jobs where i could get paid for these.  i also do not want to be in the bureaucracy.  i want to be on the creative edge.  i am remembering a friend telling me about some place in the u.s. where the homeless were involved in many different  ways to make money while enjoying their work.

On Wed, Jul 28, 2021 at 12:15 PM Charlotte via groups.io <victorygardensforall=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
Amalie can you call me 787 366 9355

On Wed, Jul 28, 2021, 11:45 AM Amalie Roberts <amalie@...> wrote:
Hello Charlotte, 

I am a member of the pdxshelterforum group and saw your recent post. We have an outreach and community food operation in PDX and assist people with navigating housing issues among others.   

I have a friend who is in a hard situation here in Multnomah County.  Due to a reshuffling of life in the past couple years,  she is now moving to a dilapidated place on a property that her elderly father, who is in a rest home now, may be part owner of though that is not clear.  She has been marginally housed for a few years now, is a middle  aged female, and not able to handle employment.  The property has a well and a compostable toilet but soon it will be winter and accessing those services will be difficult.  

She is such a wonderful person and an amazing artist.  The slope is becoming evermore slippery as she goes along so if you have any ideas or references for her in regards to accessing assistance for her new living space, that would be a god send. 

Thanks for your good works!


Amalie Roberts
amalie@...


 You have the
right to breathe and remain
 Imagine
that
Rosamond S. King

On Jul 27, 2021, at 5:01 PM, Charlotte via groups.io <victorygardensforall@...> wrote:

REBUILD SEVERELY DAMAGED HOUSE (fire) AND LOTS MORE

we are looking for a house to rebuild. when i was in minneapolis i remodeled many damaged houses. our intention here is to rebuild for a lot less. houses are very expensive because the unified building code has a lot of expensive ways to build. it looks like people wanting to make money have used the codes to further their money making desires. one thing that is needed for a healthy capitalism is that all sides are involved. we would like to bring more innovation and less cost into the picture.

i removed buildings for about 5 years in Minneapolis in the 90's. we used many less expensive ways to rebuild. when the building inspectors did not agree, we had a structural engineer describe how it could work. normally this might cost now 10 - 20 K. this depends on what the structural engineer costs. at time time i had a structural engineer friend who was happy to help, as he loved the mothods we were using. we have leads on at least one structural engineer who can help us.

there are some interesting applications of this. right now square one has built 6 houses on one urban lot in line with new state wide building codes. if there are people who have not been able to afford getting homes fixed we can offer them ways to do this where they do not pay. (one way being to use part of their lot for more houses. there are other ways as well.

contact me if you want to know more about any of the above.

a

we believe this is important work for these times, as the cost of building to the unified building code contributes in a a major way to homelessness. rob bolman many years ago built himself a straw bale house, using engineers to show how it would work. now there are almost 30 stawbale houses in eugene.

we would like to find a damaged house that needs repairs ideally in eugene proper. if you know of anyone with such a house, please message me.

new codes allow 6 low income houses on a city lot. we would look at building more units on the lot. see square one units in springfield on their web site. i am hoping for some kind of combination of transition housing and permanent housing. i think it is possible to build a permanet house in the nighborhood of 70,000 for 600 to 800 sq. feet. we need to look at these kind of solutions.

this is a good time to find these people as many people cannot afford extensive repairs because of the very high lumbar prices. it is great for low income folks as it might save 50 - 100 K.

o

t

On Tue, Jul 27, 2021 at 4:36 PM Sally Bachman <Sarahbach@...> wrote:
FYI

 

Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland
Wednesday: A homeless couple went from a tent to a trailer, but continues to wait after more than a year for something more permanent.
By Brett Simpson
July 14, 2021

 

Good morning.
When Kymberli Wilson opens her eyes in the morning, the sight of a solid roof still disorients her.
She and her husband, Lenton, live in a 20-foot trailer at the Coliseum Stadium parking lot in Oakland. Home used to be a tent at the 77th Street homeless encampment, where they had to fill two jugs of water daily and dodge rats at night.
“It’s a big step up from the sidewalk,” Kymberli, 56, said. “No leaks, no wind, and we’re never cold.”
Kymberli and Lenton, 61, arrived at the city-run trailer site last May. But they never expected to stay. In a time of increased investment in helping the homeless, the trailer was offered as a pathway to permanent housing. And this year, a real home seemed within reach for the couple.
In January, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $1.75 billion of new investment in housing, and in March, President Biden’s American Rescue Act passed with $50 billion in housing and homelessness assistance.
But more than a year after arriving at a stadium parking lot that was meant to be temporary, the Wilsons remain in the trailer, and feel no closer to finding permanent housing and leaving life on the streets behind.
A broken-down Cadillac near the tent where the Wilsons had been living, before they moved to a trailer. Credit...Jared R. Stapp
The Wilsons are two of the approximately 2,000 homeless seniors in Alameda County. Some have gotten lucky with long-term leases on apartments, group homes and hotel rooms. But the Wilsons’ odyssey through a year of hope and disappointment points to a more persistent crisis for the homeless population that has evaded solutions, despite a significant injection of pandemic-relief money.
“I don’t worry about a virus,” Kymberli Wilson said. “It will be false hope that gets us in the end.”
A little more than a year ago, the Wilsons’ tent-home in Oakland at the 77th Street homeless encampment had no solid walls. At the end of a line of tents, under the overpass of the Coliseum BART station, the structure was unmistakable: a sprawling patchwork of blue tarp, gray nylon and red duct tape stretched over wooden beams. Other homeless residents there called it “the mansion.”
Outside, bikes, lawn mowers and construction tools were sprawled everywhere. Inside, there was a kitchen table, a full-size bed and a dresser full of clothes.
It was all that remained of the couple’s old life. In 2014, both left their jobs at the nearby Oakland Arena — she was a cashier, he was a parking attendant — to care for her father. When her father died in 2015, she and her husband were evicted from her father’s house. They spent a year in a parking lot behind a Church’s Chicken, then moved to the encampment.
They started a landscaping business, pulling their gear on a trailer behind a mint green cruiser bicycle as they rode across the city to tend lawns and dreamed of saving enough to escape. Last year, as Covid-19 swept across the state, the pandemic brought fear and uncertainty but also something unexpected: opportunity.
One morning last year in mid-April, the encampment leader showed up at the Wilsons’ tent with news: Oakland was receiving 67 fully furnished and state-financed trailers from the state’s Office of Emergency Services to house homeless people during the pandemic. Because of their ages, the Wilsons were eligible.
The trailer community at the Oakland parking lot where the Wilsons live.Credit...Jared R. Stapp
A trailer meant running water and electricity. It meant no more trips across the BART tracks to fill five-gallon jugs with water. And no more noisy generator consuming gallons of costly gas every day. But the Wilsons were hesitant. The trailer was smaller than their tent, with less storage space. And there was no sense of how long they could stay after the pandemic.
“Our tent is all we have,” Kymberli said that night in April. “If we leave, we can never come back.”
Then they heard from a former neighbor that Operation HomeBase, a new city program to help Oakland’s oldest and most vulnerable homeless residents, wouldn’t just provide a trailer, but would also provide a case worker to help them find permanent housing. The couple talked it over, eating Panda Express on the queen-size bed in the so-called mansion. And they decided to take the risk.
“We’re not getting any younger,” Kymberli said at the time. “Every choice we make is to get back inside.”
So on May 28, the Wilsons loaded the possessions they could fit onto their bike trailer — mowers, food, clothes, shoes — and traversed the overpass to a parking lot on Hegenberger Road. They filled out forms, received keys to Unit 46 and walked inside. What they saw stunned them: an open interior, filled with light from six windows. Gleaming brown cabinets, an upholstered couch, a bed and a kitchen table. Air-conditioning, Wi-Fi and an indoor bathroom.
Outside, an awning unfolded with the push of a button. And a community building offered free on-site meals, laundry service and medical support to all residents. As soon as the Wilsons dropped off their belongings, they took celebratory showers.
As the summer faded into the fall, they adjusted. They stopped expecting the sound of rats at night. They got used to using the bathroom without going outside. Three times a day, they got in line with the other residents and enjoyed a free meal — compliments of local restaurants. The Sunday brunch was their favorite: eggs, sausages, hash browns and Danishes. They began to gain weight.
But a promised case worker, who was supposed to help them transition to a home, never materialized. In January, the Wilsons took matters into their own hands. They applied for spots in public and private housing programs. Time and again, they failed to win the housing lottery. They are now on four waiting lists.

 

Kymberli and Lenton Wilson outside of the tent where they were living last year.Credit...Jared R. Stapp
Marichelle Alcantara, homeless programs manager for Operation HomeBase, said only one case worker served all 124 of the site’s residents for the first year of the operation. In May, the site hired three more case workers. But the Wilsons, both healthy and without dependents, have not reached the top of the priority list.
“Honestly, we expected people to arrive with their own case workers,” Alcantara said in April. “We were overwhelmed by the demand for support.”
In late April, the city announced that Operation HomeBase would be extended for another year. All residents can continue living at the Hegenberger Road site until 2022.
But the Wilsons feel stuck.
They cannot move forward, and they cannot go back to the tent. Their old “mansion” still sits under the BART overpass, but it is now occupied. Everything the Wilsons left behind there has long since been claimed. Their former friends and neighbors have mostly scattered to state-sponsored hotel rooms under Project Roomkey, another program that started during the pandemic.
“We want a house key. We want to pay rent,” Kymberli said. “We never thought we’d have to wait this long.”
Brett Simpson writes for the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism.

 





--
At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you. Whatever you can do or dream you can do begin it now. Boldness has genius, magic and power in it. Goethe
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”  Buckminster Fuller

Charlotte 001  787-366-9344, 541 579 8607 



Amalie Roberts
amalie@...


 You have the
right to breathe and remain
 Imagine
that
Rosamond S. King



--
At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you. Whatever you can do or dream you can do begin it now. Boldness has genius, magic and power in it. Goethe
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”  Buckminster Fuller

Charlotte 001  787-366-9344, 541 579 8607 



Re: Apologies to Re: [pdxshelterforum] Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland-NY Times

Trena Sutton
 

Please do not apologize, what you had to say was not only relative to this form but it was interesting to read. I'm a big supporter of Bybee Lake Hope Center and I'm thrilled you communicated with Richelle who oversees voluntary programs. She is a dynamic person.

 I'm currently working with homeless veterans in Central Oregon. We just broke ground for a 15 tiny home project in Bend. You don't see the homeless camps like you do in Portland and surrounding areas. Central Oregon has a great deal of open space but unfortunately much of the land is owned by the county or the US Forest Service and they are not terribly hospitable towards those living Outdoors. The faith-based community in Central Oregon has really stepped up to help but the house was have become a bit xenophobic because of the hostilities directed towards them from the local constabulary.

On Wed, Jul 28, 2021, 9:46 PM Mh Kincaid <jamasu88@...> wrote:
I apologize for my error in replying to an email sent by a member of this group. I had no idea it would go the whole group.  
Humility is at work in my world...

Maryhelen Kincaid


From: pdxshelterforum@groups.io <pdxshelterforum@groups.io> on behalf of Mh Kincaid <jamasu88@...>
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2021 8:41 PM
To: pdxshelterforum@groups.io <pdxshelterforum@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [pdxshelterforum] Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland-NY Times
 
I am working/spending time in the garden, and trying to not pay attention to all the proposed actions that get lofted in these groups.  I am spending a good deal of time working on the Vanport Placemarking Project,  We got our first sign installed on June 30th and 2 more should be installed at the Vanport theater site by the end of August.  I attached a picture of the first sign. We had a booth at the Rose Cup Races July 9-11th and had a lot of good conversations with people about their knowledge, or lack of knowledge, about Vanport. Besides the heat it was a really good opportunity to connect with a different demographic.

I contacted Raven at Bybee Lakes, about getting donated pastries and bread from Marsee Bakery Outlet and she put me in touch with Richelle.  I am going to Marsee tomorrow to see what I can get donated.

I will forward you an email I sent to Dan Ryan.  There are North Portland folks all up in arms over the list of 70 sites.  Mostly complaining, and wanting citizens and neighborhoods to pick the usable sites. My belief is whoever has the money will decide, so "we" should focus on providing a plan and a way for "them" to spend thei money.  

I am glad you are having fun with your kids and grandkids.  I am not sure I could take "nonstop" but know it is really rewarding and you are making lots of memories.

Get in touch when you have time, and are rested...

Maryhelen
 


From: pdxshelterforum@groups.io <pdxshelterforum@groups.io> on behalf of Janice Yaden via groups.io <janiceyaden=yahoo.com@groups.io>
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2021 12:57 PM
To: pdxshelterforum@groups.io <pdxshelterforum@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [pdxshelterforum] Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland-NY Times
 
I read this.  Still unanswered questions, as usual in a news article.  Anyhow, another look at homelessness.  
What are you doing these days?  Our kids are here with their kids and we are non-stop activity center.
Janice

On Tuesday, July 27, 2021, 04:36:55 PM PDT, Sally Bachman <sarahbach@...> wrote:


FYI

 

Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland

Wednesday: A homeless couple went from a tent to a trailer, but continues to wait after more than a year for something more permanent.

By Brett Simpson

July 14, 2021

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/14/us/oakland-homeless-housing.html?searchResultPosition=1

 

Good morning.

When Kymberli Wilson opens her eyes in the morning, the sight of a solid roof still disorients her.

She and her husband, Lenton, live in a 20-foot trailer at the Coliseum Stadium parking lot in Oakland. Home used to be a tent at the 77th Street homeless encampment, where they had to fill two jugs of water daily and dodge rats at night.

“It’s a big step up from the sidewalk,” Kymberli, 56, said. “No leaks, no wind, and we’re never cold.”

Kymberli and Lenton, 61, arrived at the city-run trailer site last May. But they never expected to stay. In a time of increased investment in helping the homeless, the trailer was offered as a pathway to permanent housing. And this year, a real home seemed within reach for the couple.

In January, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $1.75 billion of new investment in housing, and in March, President Biden’s American Rescue Act passed with $50 billion in housing and homelessness assistance.

But more than a year after arriving at a stadium parking lot that was meant to be temporary, the Wilsons remain in the trailer, and feel no closer to finding permanent housing and leaving life on the streets behind.

A broken-down Cadillac near the tent where the Wilsons had been living, before they moved to a trailer. Credit...Jared R. Stapp

The Wilsons are two of the approximately 2,000 homeless seniors in Alameda County. Some have gotten lucky with long-term leases on apartments, group homes and hotel rooms. But the Wilsons’ odyssey through a year of hope and disappointment points to a more persistent crisis for the homeless population that has evaded solutions, despite a significant injection of pandemic-relief money.

“I don’t worry about a virus,” Kymberli Wilson said. “It will be false hope that gets us in the end.”

A little more than a year ago, the Wilsons’ tent-home in Oakland at the 77th Street homeless encampment had no solid walls. At the end of a line of tents, under the overpass of the Coliseum BART station, the structure was unmistakable: a sprawling patchwork of blue tarp, gray nylon and red duct tape stretched over wooden beams. Other homeless residents there called it “the mansion.”

Outside, bikes, lawn mowers and construction tools were sprawled everywhere. Inside, there was a kitchen table, a full-size bed and a dresser full of clothes.

It was all that remained of the couple’s old life. In 2014, both left their jobs at the nearby Oakland Arena — she was a cashier, he was a parking attendant — to care for her father. When her father died in 2015, she and her husband were evicted from her father’s house. They spent a year in a parking lot behind a Church’s Chicken, then moved to the encampment.

They started a landscaping business, pulling their gear on a trailer behind a mint green cruiser bicycle as they rode across the city to tend lawns and dreamed of saving enough to escape. Last year, as Covid-19 swept across the state, the pandemic brought fear and uncertainty but also something unexpected: opportunity.

One morning last year in mid-April, the encampment leader showed up at the Wilsons’ tent with news: Oakland was receiving 67 fully furnished and state-financed trailers from the state’s Office of Emergency Services to house homeless people during the pandemic. Because of their ages, the Wilsons were eligible.

The trailer community at the Oakland parking lot where the Wilsons live.Credit...Jared R. Stapp

A trailer meant running water and electricity. It meant no more trips across the BART tracks to fill five-gallon jugs with water. And no more noisy generator consuming gallons of costly gas every day. But the Wilsons were hesitant. The trailer was smaller than their tent, with less storage space. And there was no sense of how long they could stay after the pandemic.

“Our tent is all we have,” Kymberli said that night in April. “If we leave, we can never come back.”

Then they heard from a former neighbor that Operation HomeBase, a new city program to help Oakland’s oldest and most vulnerable homeless residents, wouldn’t just provide a trailer, but would also provide a case worker to help them find permanent housing. The couple talked it over, eating Panda Express on the queen-size bed in the so-called mansion. And they decided to take the risk.

“We’re not getting any younger,” Kymberli said at the time. “Every choice we make is to get back inside.”

So on May 28, the Wilsons loaded the possessions they could fit onto their bike trailer — mowers, food, clothes, shoes — and traversed the overpass to a parking lot on Hegenberger Road. They filled out forms, received keys to Unit 46 and walked inside. What they saw stunned them: an open interior, filled with light from six windows. Gleaming brown cabinets, an upholstered couch, a bed and a kitchen table. Air-conditioning, Wi-Fi and an indoor bathroom.

Outside, an awning unfolded with the push of a button. And a community building offered free on-site meals, laundry service and medical support to all residents. As soon as the Wilsons dropped off their belongings, they took celebratory showers.

As the summer faded into the fall, they adjusted. They stopped expecting the sound of rats at night. They got used to using the bathroom without going outside. Three times a day, they got in line with the other residents and enjoyed a free meal — compliments of local restaurants. The Sunday brunch was their favorite: eggs, sausages, hash browns and Danishes. They began to gain weight.

But a promised case worker, who was supposed to help them transition to a home, never materialized. In January, the Wilsons took matters into their own hands. They applied for spots in public and private housing programs. Time and again, they failed to win the housing lottery. They are now on four waiting lists.

 

Kymberli and Lenton Wilson outside of the tent where they were living last year.Credit...Jared R. Stapp

Marichelle Alcantara, homeless programs manager for Operation HomeBase, said only one case worker served all 124 of the site’s residents for the first year of the operation. In May, the site hired three more case workers. But the Wilsons, both healthy and without dependents, have not reached the top of the priority list.

“Honestly, we expected people to arrive with their own case workers,” Alcantara said in April. “We were overwhelmed by the demand for support.”

In late April, the city announced that Operation HomeBase would be extended for another year. All residents can continue living at the Hegenberger Road site until 2022.

But the Wilsons feel stuck.

They cannot move forward, and they cannot go back to the tent. Their old “mansion” still sits under the BART overpass, but it is now occupied. Everything the Wilsons left behind there has long since been claimed. Their former friends and neighbors have mostly scattered to state-sponsored hotel rooms under Project Roomkey, another program that started during the pandemic.

“We want a house key. We want to pay rent,” Kymberli said. “We never thought we’d have to wait this long.”

Brett Simpson writes for the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism.

 


Apologies to Re: [pdxshelterforum] Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland-NY Times

Mh Kincaid
 

I apologize for my error in replying to an email sent by a member of this group. I had no idea it would go the whole group.  
Humility is at work in my world...

Maryhelen Kincaid


From: pdxshelterforum@groups.io <pdxshelterforum@groups.io> on behalf of Mh Kincaid <jamasu88@...>
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2021 8:41 PM
To: pdxshelterforum@groups.io <pdxshelterforum@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [pdxshelterforum] Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland-NY Times
 
I am working/spending time in the garden, and trying to not pay attention to all the proposed actions that get lofted in these groups.  I am spending a good deal of time working on the Vanport Placemarking Project,  We got our first sign installed on June 30th and 2 more should be installed at the Vanport theater site by the end of August.  I attached a picture of the first sign. We had a booth at the Rose Cup Races July 9-11th and had a lot of good conversations with people about their knowledge, or lack of knowledge, about Vanport. Besides the heat it was a really good opportunity to connect with a different demographic.

I contacted Raven at Bybee Lakes, about getting donated pastries and bread from Marsee Bakery Outlet and she put me in touch with Richelle.  I am going to Marsee tomorrow to see what I can get donated.

I will forward you an email I sent to Dan Ryan.  There are North Portland folks all up in arms over the list of 70 sites.  Mostly complaining, and wanting citizens and neighborhoods to pick the usable sites. My belief is whoever has the money will decide, so "we" should focus on providing a plan and a way for "them" to spend thei money.  

I am glad you are having fun with your kids and grandkids.  I am not sure I could take "nonstop" but know it is really rewarding and you are making lots of memories.

Get in touch when you have time, and are rested...

Maryhelen
 


From: pdxshelterforum@groups.io <pdxshelterforum@groups.io> on behalf of Janice Yaden via groups.io <janiceyaden@...>
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2021 12:57 PM
To: pdxshelterforum@groups.io <pdxshelterforum@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [pdxshelterforum] Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland-NY Times
 
I read this.  Still unanswered questions, as usual in a news article.  Anyhow, another look at homelessness.  
What are you doing these days?  Our kids are here with their kids and we are non-stop activity center.
Janice

On Tuesday, July 27, 2021, 04:36:55 PM PDT, Sally Bachman <sarahbach@...> wrote:


FYI

 

Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland

Wednesday: A homeless couple went from a tent to a trailer, but continues to wait after more than a year for something more permanent.

By Brett Simpson

July 14, 2021

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/14/us/oakland-homeless-housing.html?searchResultPosition=1

 

Good morning.

When Kymberli Wilson opens her eyes in the morning, the sight of a solid roof still disorients her.

She and her husband, Lenton, live in a 20-foot trailer at the Coliseum Stadium parking lot in Oakland. Home used to be a tent at the 77th Street homeless encampment, where they had to fill two jugs of water daily and dodge rats at night.

“It’s a big step up from the sidewalk,” Kymberli, 56, said. “No leaks, no wind, and we’re never cold.”

Kymberli and Lenton, 61, arrived at the city-run trailer site last May. But they never expected to stay. In a time of increased investment in helping the homeless, the trailer was offered as a pathway to permanent housing. And this year, a real home seemed within reach for the couple.

In January, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $1.75 billion of new investment in housing, and in March, President Biden’s American Rescue Act passed with $50 billion in housing and homelessness assistance.

But more than a year after arriving at a stadium parking lot that was meant to be temporary, the Wilsons remain in the trailer, and feel no closer to finding permanent housing and leaving life on the streets behind.

A broken-down Cadillac near the tent where the Wilsons had been living, before they moved to a trailer. Credit...Jared R. Stapp

The Wilsons are two of the approximately 2,000 homeless seniors in Alameda County. Some have gotten lucky with long-term leases on apartments, group homes and hotel rooms. But the Wilsons’ odyssey through a year of hope and disappointment points to a more persistent crisis for the homeless population that has evaded solutions, despite a significant injection of pandemic-relief money.

“I don’t worry about a virus,” Kymberli Wilson said. “It will be false hope that gets us in the end.”

A little more than a year ago, the Wilsons’ tent-home in Oakland at the 77th Street homeless encampment had no solid walls. At the end of a line of tents, under the overpass of the Coliseum BART station, the structure was unmistakable: a sprawling patchwork of blue tarp, gray nylon and red duct tape stretched over wooden beams. Other homeless residents there called it “the mansion.”

Outside, bikes, lawn mowers and construction tools were sprawled everywhere. Inside, there was a kitchen table, a full-size bed and a dresser full of clothes.

It was all that remained of the couple’s old life. In 2014, both left their jobs at the nearby Oakland Arena — she was a cashier, he was a parking attendant — to care for her father. When her father died in 2015, she and her husband were evicted from her father’s house. They spent a year in a parking lot behind a Church’s Chicken, then moved to the encampment.

They started a landscaping business, pulling their gear on a trailer behind a mint green cruiser bicycle as they rode across the city to tend lawns and dreamed of saving enough to escape. Last year, as Covid-19 swept across the state, the pandemic brought fear and uncertainty but also something unexpected: opportunity.

One morning last year in mid-April, the encampment leader showed up at the Wilsons’ tent with news: Oakland was receiving 67 fully furnished and state-financed trailers from the state’s Office of Emergency Services to house homeless people during the pandemic. Because of their ages, the Wilsons were eligible.

The trailer community at the Oakland parking lot where the Wilsons live.Credit...Jared R. Stapp

A trailer meant running water and electricity. It meant no more trips across the BART tracks to fill five-gallon jugs with water. And no more noisy generator consuming gallons of costly gas every day. But the Wilsons were hesitant. The trailer was smaller than their tent, with less storage space. And there was no sense of how long they could stay after the pandemic.

“Our tent is all we have,” Kymberli said that night in April. “If we leave, we can never come back.”

Then they heard from a former neighbor that Operation HomeBase, a new city program to help Oakland’s oldest and most vulnerable homeless residents, wouldn’t just provide a trailer, but would also provide a case worker to help them find permanent housing. The couple talked it over, eating Panda Express on the queen-size bed in the so-called mansion. And they decided to take the risk.

“We’re not getting any younger,” Kymberli said at the time. “Every choice we make is to get back inside.”

So on May 28, the Wilsons loaded the possessions they could fit onto their bike trailer — mowers, food, clothes, shoes — and traversed the overpass to a parking lot on Hegenberger Road. They filled out forms, received keys to Unit 46 and walked inside. What they saw stunned them: an open interior, filled with light from six windows. Gleaming brown cabinets, an upholstered couch, a bed and a kitchen table. Air-conditioning, Wi-Fi and an indoor bathroom.

Outside, an awning unfolded with the push of a button. And a community building offered free on-site meals, laundry service and medical support to all residents. As soon as the Wilsons dropped off their belongings, they took celebratory showers.

As the summer faded into the fall, they adjusted. They stopped expecting the sound of rats at night. They got used to using the bathroom without going outside. Three times a day, they got in line with the other residents and enjoyed a free meal — compliments of local restaurants. The Sunday brunch was their favorite: eggs, sausages, hash browns and Danishes. They began to gain weight.

But a promised case worker, who was supposed to help them transition to a home, never materialized. In January, the Wilsons took matters into their own hands. They applied for spots in public and private housing programs. Time and again, they failed to win the housing lottery. They are now on four waiting lists.

 

Kymberli and Lenton Wilson outside of the tent where they were living last year.Credit...Jared R. Stapp

Marichelle Alcantara, homeless programs manager for Operation HomeBase, said only one case worker served all 124 of the site’s residents for the first year of the operation. In May, the site hired three more case workers. But the Wilsons, both healthy and without dependents, have not reached the top of the priority list.

“Honestly, we expected people to arrive with their own case workers,” Alcantara said in April. “We were overwhelmed by the demand for support.”

In late April, the city announced that Operation HomeBase would be extended for another year. All residents can continue living at the Hegenberger Road site until 2022.

But the Wilsons feel stuck.

They cannot move forward, and they cannot go back to the tent. Their old “mansion” still sits under the BART overpass, but it is now occupied. Everything the Wilsons left behind there has long since been claimed. Their former friends and neighbors have mostly scattered to state-sponsored hotel rooms under Project Roomkey, another program that started during the pandemic.

“We want a house key. We want to pay rent,” Kymberli said. “We never thought we’d have to wait this long.”

Brett Simpson writes for the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism.

 


Re: Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland-NY Times

Mh Kincaid
 

I am working/spending time in the garden, and trying to not pay attention to all the propsed actions that get lofted in these groups.  I am spending a good deal of time working on the Vanport Placemarking Project,  We got our first sign installed on June 30th and 2 more should be installed at the Vanport theater site by the end of August.  I attached a picture of the first sign. We had a booth at the Rose Cup Races July 9-11th and had a lot of good conversations with people about their knowledge, or lack of knowledge, about Vanport. Besides the heat it was a really good opportunity to connect with a different demographic.

I contacted Raven at Bybee Lakes, about getting donated pastries and bread from Marsee Bakery Outlet and she put me in touch with Richelle.  I am going to Marsee tomorrow to see what I can get donated.

I will forward you an email I sent to Dan Ryan.  There are North Portland folks all up in arms over the list of 70 sites.  Mostly complaining, and wanting citizens and neighborhoods to pick the usable sites. My belief is whoever has the money will decide, so "we" should focus on providing a plan and a way for "them" to spend thei money.  

I am glad you are having fun with your kids and grandkids.  I am not sure I could take "nonstop" but know it is really rewarding and you are making lots of memories.

Get in touch when you have time, and are rested...

Maryhelen
 


From: pdxshelterforum@groups.io <pdxshelterforum@groups.io> on behalf of Janice Yaden via groups.io <janiceyaden@...>
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2021 12:57 PM
To: pdxshelterforum@groups.io <pdxshelterforum@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [pdxshelterforum] Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland-NY Times
 
I read this.  Still unanswered questions, as usual in a news article.  Anyhow, another look at homelessness.  
What are you doing these days?  Our kids are here with their kids and we are non-stop activity center.
Janice

On Tuesday, July 27, 2021, 04:36:55 PM PDT, Sally Bachman <sarahbach@...> wrote:


FYI

 

Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland

Wednesday: A homeless couple went from a tent to a trailer, but continues to wait after more than a year for something more permanent.

By Brett Simpson

July 14, 2021

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/14/us/oakland-homeless-housing.html?searchResultPosition=1

 

Good morning.

When Kymberli Wilson opens her eyes in the morning, the sight of a solid roof still disorients her.

She and her husband, Lenton, live in a 20-foot trailer at the Coliseum Stadium parking lot in Oakland. Home used to be a tent at the 77th Street homeless encampment, where they had to fill two jugs of water daily and dodge rats at night.

“It’s a big step up from the sidewalk,” Kymberli, 56, said. “No leaks, no wind, and we’re never cold.”

Kymberli and Lenton, 61, arrived at the city-run trailer site last May. But they never expected to stay. In a time of increased investment in helping the homeless, the trailer was offered as a pathway to permanent housing. And this year, a real home seemed within reach for the couple.

In January, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $1.75 billion of new investment in housing, and in March, President Biden’s American Rescue Act passed with $50 billion in housing and homelessness assistance.

But more than a year after arriving at a stadium parking lot that was meant to be temporary, the Wilsons remain in the trailer, and feel no closer to finding permanent housing and leaving life on the streets behind.

A broken-down Cadillac near the tent where the Wilsons had been living, before they moved to a trailer. Credit...Jared R. Stapp

The Wilsons are two of the approximately 2,000 homeless seniors in Alameda County. Some have gotten lucky with long-term leases on apartments, group homes and hotel rooms. But the Wilsons’ odyssey through a year of hope and disappointment points to a more persistent crisis for the homeless population that has evaded solutions, despite a significant injection of pandemic-relief money.

“I don’t worry about a virus,” Kymberli Wilson said. “It will be false hope that gets us in the end.”

A little more than a year ago, the Wilsons’ tent-home in Oakland at the 77th Street homeless encampment had no solid walls. At the end of a line of tents, under the overpass of the Coliseum BART station, the structure was unmistakable: a sprawling patchwork of blue tarp, gray nylon and red duct tape stretched over wooden beams. Other homeless residents there called it “the mansion.”

Outside, bikes, lawn mowers and construction tools were sprawled everywhere. Inside, there was a kitchen table, a full-size bed and a dresser full of clothes.

It was all that remained of the couple’s old life. In 2014, both left their jobs at the nearby Oakland Arena — she was a cashier, he was a parking attendant — to care for her father. When her father died in 2015, she and her husband were evicted from her father’s house. They spent a year in a parking lot behind a Church’s Chicken, then moved to the encampment.

They started a landscaping business, pulling their gear on a trailer behind a mint green cruiser bicycle as they rode across the city to tend lawns and dreamed of saving enough to escape. Last year, as Covid-19 swept across the state, the pandemic brought fear and uncertainty but also something unexpected: opportunity.

One morning last year in mid-April, the encampment leader showed up at the Wilsons’ tent with news: Oakland was receiving 67 fully furnished and state-financed trailers from the state’s Office of Emergency Services to house homeless people during the pandemic. Because of their ages, the Wilsons were eligible.

The trailer community at the Oakland parking lot where the Wilsons live.Credit...Jared R. Stapp

A trailer meant running water and electricity. It meant no more trips across the BART tracks to fill five-gallon jugs with water. And no more noisy generator consuming gallons of costly gas every day. But the Wilsons were hesitant. The trailer was smaller than their tent, with less storage space. And there was no sense of how long they could stay after the pandemic.

“Our tent is all we have,” Kymberli said that night in April. “If we leave, we can never come back.”

Then they heard from a former neighbor that Operation HomeBase, a new city program to help Oakland’s oldest and most vulnerable homeless residents, wouldn’t just provide a trailer, but would also provide a case worker to help them find permanent housing. The couple talked it over, eating Panda Express on the queen-size bed in the so-called mansion. And they decided to take the risk.

“We’re not getting any younger,” Kymberli said at the time. “Every choice we make is to get back inside.”

So on May 28, the Wilsons loaded the possessions they could fit onto their bike trailer — mowers, food, clothes, shoes — and traversed the overpass to a parking lot on Hegenberger Road. They filled out forms, received keys to Unit 46 and walked inside. What they saw stunned them: an open interior, filled with light from six windows. Gleaming brown cabinets, an upholstered couch, a bed and a kitchen table. Air-conditioning, Wi-Fi and an indoor bathroom.

Outside, an awning unfolded with the push of a button. And a community building offered free on-site meals, laundry service and medical support to all residents. As soon as the Wilsons dropped off their belongings, they took celebratory showers.

As the summer faded into the fall, they adjusted. They stopped expecting the sound of rats at night. They got used to using the bathroom without going outside. Three times a day, they got in line with the other residents and enjoyed a free meal — compliments of local restaurants. The Sunday brunch was their favorite: eggs, sausages, hash browns and Danishes. They began to gain weight.

But a promised case worker, who was supposed to help them transition to a home, never materialized. In January, the Wilsons took matters into their own hands. They applied for spots in public and private housing programs. Time and again, they failed to win the housing lottery. They are now on four waiting lists.

 

Kymberli and Lenton Wilson outside of the tent where they were living last year.Credit...Jared R. Stapp

Marichelle Alcantara, homeless programs manager for Operation HomeBase, said only one case worker served all 124 of the site’s residents for the first year of the operation. In May, the site hired three more case workers. But the Wilsons, both healthy and without dependents, have not reached the top of the priority list.

“Honestly, we expected people to arrive with their own case workers,” Alcantara said in April. “We were overwhelmed by the demand for support.”

In late April, the city announced that Operation HomeBase would be extended for another year. All residents can continue living at the Hegenberger Road site until 2022.

But the Wilsons feel stuck.

They cannot move forward, and they cannot go back to the tent. Their old “mansion” still sits under the BART overpass, but it is now occupied. Everything the Wilsons left behind there has long since been claimed. Their former friends and neighbors have mostly scattered to state-sponsored hotel rooms under Project Roomkey, another program that started during the pandemic.

“We want a house key. We want to pay rent,” Kymberli said. “We never thought we’d have to wait this long.”

Brett Simpson writes for the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism.

 


Reminder that emails go to all by default, and how to limit message volume

Tim McCormick
 

moderator note:  we love engaged discussion and activity, but please everyone remember that this is a public list with over 300 email subscribers who are (by default) sent every message. 

Personal mesaages or brief "thanks" or "interesting!" type replies are best sent directly to the person you're replying to, not to the list address pdxshelterforum@groups.io. I'm not faulting anyone, as I understand it is easy to not realize one has included that address, or know that a reply goes to all -- this is why we periodically offer a reminder. 

To limit messages you receive, or switch to just an occasional digest email or read only on Web vs on email, below are instructions, which can always be found at front page of http://pdxshelterforum.org:

------

5. Too many messages? it happens, we understand. You can manage or fix this by using the links on the bottom of every message to to either

     a) Mute This Topic (the current 'thread' of set of messages with same Subject line).  

     b) Unsubscribe. If you choose Unsubscribe, you'll be given alternatives to:

  • Switch to Daily Summary
  • Switch to Special Notices Only (e.g. from admin),
  • Cancel and Stay (cancel unsubscribe request), 
  • Leave Group (need re-approval to rejoin).

--
Tim McCormick
Moderator PDX Shelter Forum, Editor at HousingWiki,
Organizer at Village Collaborative


Re: Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland-NY Times

Janice Yaden
 

I read this.  Still unanswered questions, as usual in a news article.  Anyhow, another look at homelessness.  
What are you doing these days?  Our kids are here with their kids and we are non-stop activity center.
Janice

On Tuesday, July 27, 2021, 04:36:55 PM PDT, Sally Bachman <sarahbach@...> wrote:


FYI

 

Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland

Wednesday: A homeless couple went from a tent to a trailer, but continues to wait after more than a year for something more permanent.

By Brett Simpson

July 14, 2021

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/14/us/oakland-homeless-housing.html?searchResultPosition=1

 

Good morning.

When Kymberli Wilson opens her eyes in the morning, the sight of a solid roof still disorients her.

She and her husband, Lenton, live in a 20-foot trailer at the Coliseum Stadium parking lot in Oakland. Home used to be a tent at the 77th Street homeless encampment, where they had to fill two jugs of water daily and dodge rats at night.

“It’s a big step up from the sidewalk,” Kymberli, 56, said. “No leaks, no wind, and we’re never cold.”

Kymberli and Lenton, 61, arrived at the city-run trailer site last May. But they never expected to stay. In a time of increased investment in helping the homeless, the trailer was offered as a pathway to permanent housing. And this year, a real home seemed within reach for the couple.

In January, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $1.75 billion of new investment in housing, and in March, President Biden’s American Rescue Act passed with $50 billion in housing and homelessness assistance.

But more than a year after arriving at a stadium parking lot that was meant to be temporary, the Wilsons remain in the trailer, and feel no closer to finding permanent housing and leaving life on the streets behind.

A broken-down Cadillac near the tent where the Wilsons had been living, before they moved to a trailer. Credit...Jared R. Stapp

The Wilsons are two of the approximately 2,000 homeless seniors in Alameda County. Some have gotten lucky with long-term leases on apartments, group homes and hotel rooms. But the Wilsons’ odyssey through a year of hope and disappointment points to a more persistent crisis for the homeless population that has evaded solutions, despite a significant injection of pandemic-relief money.

“I don’t worry about a virus,” Kymberli Wilson said. “It will be false hope that gets us in the end.”

A little more than a year ago, the Wilsons’ tent-home in Oakland at the 77th Street homeless encampment had no solid walls. At the end of a line of tents, under the overpass of the Coliseum BART station, the structure was unmistakable: a sprawling patchwork of blue tarp, gray nylon and red duct tape stretched over wooden beams. Other homeless residents there called it “the mansion.”

Outside, bikes, lawn mowers and construction tools were sprawled everywhere. Inside, there was a kitchen table, a full-size bed and a dresser full of clothes.

It was all that remained of the couple’s old life. In 2014, both left their jobs at the nearby Oakland Arena — she was a cashier, he was a parking attendant — to care for her father. When her father died in 2015, she and her husband were evicted from her father’s house. They spent a year in a parking lot behind a Church’s Chicken, then moved to the encampment.

They started a landscaping business, pulling their gear on a trailer behind a mint green cruiser bicycle as they rode across the city to tend lawns and dreamed of saving enough to escape. Last year, as Covid-19 swept across the state, the pandemic brought fear and uncertainty but also something unexpected: opportunity.

One morning last year in mid-April, the encampment leader showed up at the Wilsons’ tent with news: Oakland was receiving 67 fully furnished and state-financed trailers from the state’s Office of Emergency Services to house homeless people during the pandemic. Because of their ages, the Wilsons were eligible.

The trailer community at the Oakland parking lot where the Wilsons live.Credit...Jared R. Stapp

A trailer meant running water and electricity. It meant no more trips across the BART tracks to fill five-gallon jugs with water. And no more noisy generator consuming gallons of costly gas every day. But the Wilsons were hesitant. The trailer was smaller than their tent, with less storage space. And there was no sense of how long they could stay after the pandemic.

“Our tent is all we have,” Kymberli said that night in April. “If we leave, we can never come back.”

Then they heard from a former neighbor that Operation HomeBase, a new city program to help Oakland’s oldest and most vulnerable homeless residents, wouldn’t just provide a trailer, but would also provide a case worker to help them find permanent housing. The couple talked it over, eating Panda Express on the queen-size bed in the so-called mansion. And they decided to take the risk.

“We’re not getting any younger,” Kymberli said at the time. “Every choice we make is to get back inside.”

So on May 28, the Wilsons loaded the possessions they could fit onto their bike trailer — mowers, food, clothes, shoes — and traversed the overpass to a parking lot on Hegenberger Road. They filled out forms, received keys to Unit 46 and walked inside. What they saw stunned them: an open interior, filled with light from six windows. Gleaming brown cabinets, an upholstered couch, a bed and a kitchen table. Air-conditioning, Wi-Fi and an indoor bathroom.

Outside, an awning unfolded with the push of a button. And a community building offered free on-site meals, laundry service and medical support to all residents. As soon as the Wilsons dropped off their belongings, they took celebratory showers.

As the summer faded into the fall, they adjusted. They stopped expecting the sound of rats at night. They got used to using the bathroom without going outside. Three times a day, they got in line with the other residents and enjoyed a free meal — compliments of local restaurants. The Sunday brunch was their favorite: eggs, sausages, hash browns and Danishes. They began to gain weight.

But a promised case worker, who was supposed to help them transition to a home, never materialized. In January, the Wilsons took matters into their own hands. They applied for spots in public and private housing programs. Time and again, they failed to win the housing lottery. They are now on four waiting lists.

 

Kymberli and Lenton Wilson outside of the tent where they were living last year.Credit...Jared R. Stapp

Marichelle Alcantara, homeless programs manager for Operation HomeBase, said only one case worker served all 124 of the site’s residents for the first year of the operation. In May, the site hired three more case workers. But the Wilsons, both healthy and without dependents, have not reached the top of the priority list.

“Honestly, we expected people to arrive with their own case workers,” Alcantara said in April. “We were overwhelmed by the demand for support.”

In late April, the city announced that Operation HomeBase would be extended for another year. All residents can continue living at the Hegenberger Road site until 2022.

But the Wilsons feel stuck.

They cannot move forward, and they cannot go back to the tent. Their old “mansion” still sits under the BART overpass, but it is now occupied. Everything the Wilsons left behind there has long since been claimed. Their former friends and neighbors have mostly scattered to state-sponsored hotel rooms under Project Roomkey, another program that started during the pandemic.

“We want a house key. We want to pay rent,” Kymberli said. “We never thought we’d have to wait this long.”

Brett Simpson writes for the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism.

 


Re: Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland-NY Times

Charlotte
 

Amalie can you call me 787 366 9355


On Wed, Jul 28, 2021, 11:45 AM Amalie Roberts <amalie@...> wrote:
Hello Charlotte, 

I am a member of the pdxshelterforum group and saw your recent post. We have an outreach and community food operation in PDX and assist people with navigating housing issues among others.   

I have a friend who is in a hard situation here in Multnomah County.  Due to a reshuffling of life in the past couple years,  she is now moving to a dilapidated place on a property that her elderly father, who is in a rest home now, may be part owner of though that is not clear.  She has been marginally housed for a few years now, is a middle  aged female, and not able to handle employment.  The property has a well and a compostable toilet but soon it will be winter and accessing those services will be difficult.  

She is such a wonderful person and an amazing artist.  The slope is becoming evermore slippery as she goes along so if you have any ideas or references for her in regards to accessing assistance for her new living space, that would be a god send. 

Thanks for your good works!


Amalie Roberts
amalie@...


 You have the
right to breathe and remain
 Imagine
that
Rosamond S. King

On Jul 27, 2021, at 5:01 PM, Charlotte via groups.io <victorygardensforall@...> wrote:

REBUILD SEVERELY DAMAGED HOUSE (fire) AND LOTS MORE

we are looking for a house to rebuild. when i was in minneapolis i remodeled many damaged houses. our intention here is to rebuild for a lot less. houses are very expensive because the unified building code has a lot of expensive ways to build. it looks like people wanting to make money have used the codes to further their money making desires. one thing that is needed for a healthy capitalism is that all sides are involved. we would like to bring more innovation and less cost into the picture.

i removed buildings for about 5 years in Minneapolis in the 90's. we used many less expensive ways to rebuild. when the building inspectors did not agree, we had a structural engineer describe how it could work. normally this might cost now 10 - 20 K. this depends on what the structural engineer costs. at time time i had a structural engineer friend who was happy to help, as he loved the mothods we were using. we have leads on at least one structural engineer who can help us.

there are some interesting applications of this. right now square one has built 6 houses on one urban lot in line with new state wide building codes. if there are people who have not been able to afford getting homes fixed we can offer them ways to do this where they do not pay. (one way being to use part of their lot for more houses. there are other ways as well.

contact me if you want to know more about any of the above.

a

we believe this is important work for these times, as the cost of building to the unified building code contributes in a a major way to homelessness. rob bolman many years ago built himself a straw bale house, using engineers to show how it would work. now there are almost 30 stawbale houses in eugene.

we would like to find a damaged house that needs repairs ideally in eugene proper. if you know of anyone with such a house, please message me.

new codes allow 6 low income houses on a city lot. we would look at building more units on the lot. see square one units in springfield on their web site. i am hoping for some kind of combination of transition housing and permanent housing. i think it is possible to build a permanet house in the nighborhood of 70,000 for 600 to 800 sq. feet. we need to look at these kind of solutions.

this is a good time to find these people as many people cannot afford extensive repairs because of the very high lumbar prices. it is great for low income folks as it might save 50 - 100 K.

o

t

On Tue, Jul 27, 2021 at 4:36 PM Sally Bachman <Sarahbach@...> wrote:
FYI

 

Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland
Wednesday: A homeless couple went from a tent to a trailer, but continues to wait after more than a year for something more permanent.
By Brett Simpson
July 14, 2021

 

Good morning.
When Kymberli Wilson opens her eyes in the morning, the sight of a solid roof still disorients her.
She and her husband, Lenton, live in a 20-foot trailer at the Coliseum Stadium parking lot in Oakland. Home used to be a tent at the 77th Street homeless encampment, where they had to fill two jugs of water daily and dodge rats at night.
“It’s a big step up from the sidewalk,” Kymberli, 56, said. “No leaks, no wind, and we’re never cold.”
Kymberli and Lenton, 61, arrived at the city-run trailer site last May. But they never expected to stay. In a time of increased investment in helping the homeless, the trailer was offered as a pathway to permanent housing. And this year, a real home seemed within reach for the couple.
In January, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $1.75 billion of new investment in housing, and in March, President Biden’s American Rescue Act passed with $50 billion in housing and homelessness assistance.
But more than a year after arriving at a stadium parking lot that was meant to be temporary, the Wilsons remain in the trailer, and feel no closer to finding permanent housing and leaving life on the streets behind.
A broken-down Cadillac near the tent where the Wilsons had been living, before they moved to a trailer. Credit...Jared R. Stapp
The Wilsons are two of the approximately 2,000 homeless seniors in Alameda County. Some have gotten lucky with long-term leases on apartments, group homes and hotel rooms. But the Wilsons’ odyssey through a year of hope and disappointment points to a more persistent crisis for the homeless population that has evaded solutions, despite a significant injection of pandemic-relief money.
“I don’t worry about a virus,” Kymberli Wilson said. “It will be false hope that gets us in the end.”
A little more than a year ago, the Wilsons’ tent-home in Oakland at the 77th Street homeless encampment had no solid walls. At the end of a line of tents, under the overpass of the Coliseum BART station, the structure was unmistakable: a sprawling patchwork of blue tarp, gray nylon and red duct tape stretched over wooden beams. Other homeless residents there called it “the mansion.”
Outside, bikes, lawn mowers and construction tools were sprawled everywhere. Inside, there was a kitchen table, a full-size bed and a dresser full of clothes.
It was all that remained of the couple’s old life. In 2014, both left their jobs at the nearby Oakland Arena — she was a cashier, he was a parking attendant — to care for her father. When her father died in 2015, she and her husband were evicted from her father’s house. They spent a year in a parking lot behind a Church’s Chicken, then moved to the encampment.
They started a landscaping business, pulling their gear on a trailer behind a mint green cruiser bicycle as they rode across the city to tend lawns and dreamed of saving enough to escape. Last year, as Covid-19 swept across the state, the pandemic brought fear and uncertainty but also something unexpected: opportunity.
One morning last year in mid-April, the encampment leader showed up at the Wilsons’ tent with news: Oakland was receiving 67 fully furnished and state-financed trailers from the state’s Office of Emergency Services to house homeless people during the pandemic. Because of their ages, the Wilsons were eligible.
The trailer community at the Oakland parking lot where the Wilsons live.Credit...Jared R. Stapp
A trailer meant running water and electricity. It meant no more trips across the BART tracks to fill five-gallon jugs with water. And no more noisy generator consuming gallons of costly gas every day. But the Wilsons were hesitant. The trailer was smaller than their tent, with less storage space. And there was no sense of how long they could stay after the pandemic.
“Our tent is all we have,” Kymberli said that night in April. “If we leave, we can never come back.”
Then they heard from a former neighbor that Operation HomeBase, a new city program to help Oakland’s oldest and most vulnerable homeless residents, wouldn’t just provide a trailer, but would also provide a case worker to help them find permanent housing. The couple talked it over, eating Panda Express on the queen-size bed in the so-called mansion. And they decided to take the risk.
“We’re not getting any younger,” Kymberli said at the time. “Every choice we make is to get back inside.”
So on May 28, the Wilsons loaded the possessions they could fit onto their bike trailer — mowers, food, clothes, shoes — and traversed the overpass to a parking lot on Hegenberger Road. They filled out forms, received keys to Unit 46 and walked inside. What they saw stunned them: an open interior, filled with light from six windows. Gleaming brown cabinets, an upholstered couch, a bed and a kitchen table. Air-conditioning, Wi-Fi and an indoor bathroom.
Outside, an awning unfolded with the push of a button. And a community building offered free on-site meals, laundry service and medical support to all residents. As soon as the Wilsons dropped off their belongings, they took celebratory showers.
As the summer faded into the fall, they adjusted. They stopped expecting the sound of rats at night. They got used to using the bathroom without going outside. Three times a day, they got in line with the other residents and enjoyed a free meal — compliments of local restaurants. The Sunday brunch was their favorite: eggs, sausages, hash browns and Danishes. They began to gain weight.
But a promised case worker, who was supposed to help them transition to a home, never materialized. In January, the Wilsons took matters into their own hands. They applied for spots in public and private housing programs. Time and again, they failed to win the housing lottery. They are now on four waiting lists.

 

Kymberli and Lenton Wilson outside of the tent where they were living last year.Credit...Jared R. Stapp
Marichelle Alcantara, homeless programs manager for Operation HomeBase, said only one case worker served all 124 of the site’s residents for the first year of the operation. In May, the site hired three more case workers. But the Wilsons, both healthy and without dependents, have not reached the top of the priority list.
“Honestly, we expected people to arrive with their own case workers,” Alcantara said in April. “We were overwhelmed by the demand for support.”
In late April, the city announced that Operation HomeBase would be extended for another year. All residents can continue living at the Hegenberger Road site until 2022.
But the Wilsons feel stuck.
They cannot move forward, and they cannot go back to the tent. Their old “mansion” still sits under the BART overpass, but it is now occupied. Everything the Wilsons left behind there has long since been claimed. Their former friends and neighbors have mostly scattered to state-sponsored hotel rooms under Project Roomkey, another program that started during the pandemic.
“We want a house key. We want to pay rent,” Kymberli said. “We never thought we’d have to wait this long.”
Brett Simpson writes for the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism.

 





--
At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you. Whatever you can do or dream you can do begin it now. Boldness has genius, magic and power in it. Goethe
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”  Buckminster Fuller

Charlotte 001  787-366-9344, 541 579 8607 



Amalie Roberts
amalie@...


 You have the
right to breathe and remain
 Imagine
that
Rosamond S. King


Re: Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland-NY Times

Amalie Roberts
 

Hello Charlotte, 

I am a member of the pdxshelterforum group and saw your recent post. We have an outreach and community food operation in PDX and assist people with navigating housing issues among others.   

I have a friend who is in a hard situation here in Multnomah County.  Due to a reshuffling of life in the past couple years,  she is now moving to a dilapidated place on a property that her elderly father, who is in a rest home now, may be part owner of though that is not clear.  She has been marginally housed for a few years now, is a middle  aged female, and not able to handle employment.  The property has a well and a compostable toilet but soon it will be winter and accessing those services will be difficult.  

She is such a wonderful person and an amazing artist.  The slope is becoming evermore slippery as she goes along so if you have any ideas or references for her in regards to accessing assistance for her new living space, that would be a god send. 

Thanks for your good works!


Amalie Roberts
amalie@...


 You have the
right to breathe and remain
 Imagine
that
Rosamond S. King

On Jul 27, 2021, at 5:01 PM, Charlotte via groups.io <victorygardensforall@...> wrote:

REBUILD SEVERELY DAMAGED HOUSE (fire) AND LOTS MORE

we are looking for a house to rebuild. when i was in minneapolis i remodeled many damaged houses. our intention here is to rebuild for a lot less. houses are very expensive because the unified building code has a lot of expensive ways to build. it looks like people wanting to make money have used the codes to further their money making desires. one thing that is needed for a healthy capitalism is that all sides are involved. we would like to bring more innovation and less cost into the picture.

i removed buildings for about 5 years in Minneapolis in the 90's. we used many less expensive ways to rebuild. when the building inspectors did not agree, we had a structural engineer describe how it could work. normally this might cost now 10 - 20 K. this depends on what the structural engineer costs. at time time i had a structural engineer friend who was happy to help, as he loved the mothods we were using. we have leads on at least one structural engineer who can help us.

there are some interesting applications of this. right now square one has built 6 houses on one urban lot in line with new state wide building codes. if there are people who have not been able to afford getting homes fixed we can offer them ways to do this where they do not pay. (one way being to use part of their lot for more houses. there are other ways as well.

contact me if you want to know more about any of the above.

a

we believe this is important work for these times, as the cost of building to the unified building code contributes in a a major way to homelessness. rob bolman many years ago built himself a straw bale house, using engineers to show how it would work. now there are almost 30 stawbale houses in eugene.

we would like to find a damaged house that needs repairs ideally in eugene proper. if you know of anyone with such a house, please message me.

new codes allow 6 low income houses on a city lot. we would look at building more units on the lot. see square one units in springfield on their web site. i am hoping for some kind of combination of transition housing and permanent housing. i think it is possible to build a permanet house in the nighborhood of 70,000 for 600 to 800 sq. feet. we need to look at these kind of solutions.

this is a good time to find these people as many people cannot afford extensive repairs because of the very high lumbar prices. it is great for low income folks as it might save 50 - 100 K.

o

t

On Tue, Jul 27, 2021 at 4:36 PM Sally Bachman <Sarahbach@...> wrote:
FYI

 

Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland
Wednesday: A homeless couple went from a tent to a trailer, but continues to wait after more than a year for something more permanent.
By Brett Simpson
July 14, 2021

 

Good morning.
When Kymberli Wilson opens her eyes in the morning, the sight of a solid roof still disorients her.
She and her husband, Lenton, live in a 20-foot trailer at the Coliseum Stadium parking lot in Oakland. Home used to be a tent at the 77th Street homeless encampment, where they had to fill two jugs of water daily and dodge rats at night.
“It’s a big step up from the sidewalk,” Kymberli, 56, said. “No leaks, no wind, and we’re never cold.”
Kymberli and Lenton, 61, arrived at the city-run trailer site last May. But they never expected to stay. In a time of increased investment in helping the homeless, the trailer was offered as a pathway to permanent housing. And this year, a real home seemed within reach for the couple.
In January, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $1.75 billion of new investment in housing, and in March, President Biden’s American Rescue Act passed with $50 billion in housing and homelessness assistance.
But more than a year after arriving at a stadium parking lot that was meant to be temporary, the Wilsons remain in the trailer, and feel no closer to finding permanent housing and leaving life on the streets behind.
A broken-down Cadillac near the tent where the Wilsons had been living, before they moved to a trailer. Credit...Jared R. Stapp
The Wilsons are two of the approximately 2,000 homeless seniors in Alameda County. Some have gotten lucky with long-term leases on apartments, group homes and hotel rooms. But the Wilsons’ odyssey through a year of hope and disappointment points to a more persistent crisis for the homeless population that has evaded solutions, despite a significant injection of pandemic-relief money.
“I don’t worry about a virus,” Kymberli Wilson said. “It will be false hope that gets us in the end.”
A little more than a year ago, the Wilsons’ tent-home in Oakland at the 77th Street homeless encampment had no solid walls. At the end of a line of tents, under the overpass of the Coliseum BART station, the structure was unmistakable: a sprawling patchwork of blue tarp, gray nylon and red duct tape stretched over wooden beams. Other homeless residents there called it “the mansion.”
Outside, bikes, lawn mowers and construction tools were sprawled everywhere. Inside, there was a kitchen table, a full-size bed and a dresser full of clothes.
It was all that remained of the couple’s old life. In 2014, both left their jobs at the nearby Oakland Arena — she was a cashier, he was a parking attendant — to care for her father. When her father died in 2015, she and her husband were evicted from her father’s house. They spent a year in a parking lot behind a Church’s Chicken, then moved to the encampment.
They started a landscaping business, pulling their gear on a trailer behind a mint green cruiser bicycle as they rode across the city to tend lawns and dreamed of saving enough to escape. Last year, as Covid-19 swept across the state, the pandemic brought fear and uncertainty but also something unexpected: opportunity.
One morning last year in mid-April, the encampment leader showed up at the Wilsons’ tent with news: Oakland was receiving 67 fully furnished and state-financed trailers from the state’s Office of Emergency Services to house homeless people during the pandemic. Because of their ages, the Wilsons were eligible.
The trailer community at the Oakland parking lot where the Wilsons live.Credit...Jared R. Stapp
A trailer meant running water and electricity. It meant no more trips across the BART tracks to fill five-gallon jugs with water. And no more noisy generator consuming gallons of costly gas every day. But the Wilsons were hesitant. The trailer was smaller than their tent, with less storage space. And there was no sense of how long they could stay after the pandemic.
“Our tent is all we have,” Kymberli said that night in April. “If we leave, we can never come back.”
Then they heard from a former neighbor that Operation HomeBase, a new city program to help Oakland’s oldest and most vulnerable homeless residents, wouldn’t just provide a trailer, but would also provide a case worker to help them find permanent housing. The couple talked it over, eating Panda Express on the queen-size bed in the so-called mansion. And they decided to take the risk.
“We’re not getting any younger,” Kymberli said at the time. “Every choice we make is to get back inside.”
So on May 28, the Wilsons loaded the possessions they could fit onto their bike trailer — mowers, food, clothes, shoes — and traversed the overpass to a parking lot on Hegenberger Road. They filled out forms, received keys to Unit 46 and walked inside. What they saw stunned them: an open interior, filled with light from six windows. Gleaming brown cabinets, an upholstered couch, a bed and a kitchen table. Air-conditioning, Wi-Fi and an indoor bathroom.
Outside, an awning unfolded with the push of a button. And a community building offered free on-site meals, laundry service and medical support to all residents. As soon as the Wilsons dropped off their belongings, they took celebratory showers.
As the summer faded into the fall, they adjusted. They stopped expecting the sound of rats at night. They got used to using the bathroom without going outside. Three times a day, they got in line with the other residents and enjoyed a free meal — compliments of local restaurants. The Sunday brunch was their favorite: eggs, sausages, hash browns and Danishes. They began to gain weight.
But a promised case worker, who was supposed to help them transition to a home, never materialized. In January, the Wilsons took matters into their own hands. They applied for spots in public and private housing programs. Time and again, they failed to win the housing lottery. They are now on four waiting lists.

 

Kymberli and Lenton Wilson outside of the tent where they were living last year.Credit...Jared R. Stapp
Marichelle Alcantara, homeless programs manager for Operation HomeBase, said only one case worker served all 124 of the site’s residents for the first year of the operation. In May, the site hired three more case workers. But the Wilsons, both healthy and without dependents, have not reached the top of the priority list.
“Honestly, we expected people to arrive with their own case workers,” Alcantara said in April. “We were overwhelmed by the demand for support.”
In late April, the city announced that Operation HomeBase would be extended for another year. All residents can continue living at the Hegenberger Road site until 2022.
But the Wilsons feel stuck.
They cannot move forward, and they cannot go back to the tent. Their old “mansion” still sits under the BART overpass, but it is now occupied. Everything the Wilsons left behind there has long since been claimed. Their former friends and neighbors have mostly scattered to state-sponsored hotel rooms under Project Roomkey, another program that started during the pandemic.
“We want a house key. We want to pay rent,” Kymberli said. “We never thought we’d have to wait this long.”
Brett Simpson writes for the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism.

 





--
At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you. Whatever you can do or dream you can do begin it now. Boldness has genius, magic and power in it. Goethe
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”  Buckminster Fuller

Charlotte 001  787-366-9344, 541 579 8607 



Amalie Roberts
amalie@...


 You have the
right to breathe and remain
 Imagine
that
Rosamond S. King


Re: Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland-NY Times

Charlotte
 

REBUILD SEVERELY DAMAGED HOUSE (fire) AND LOTS MORE

we are looking for a house to rebuild. when i was in minneapolis i remodeled many damaged houses. our intention here is to rebuild for a lot less. houses are very expensive because the unified building code has a lot of expensive ways to build. it looks like people wanting to make money have used the codes to further their money making desires. one thing that is needed for a healthy capitalism is that all sides are involved. we would like to bring more innovation and less cost into the picture.

i removed buildings for about 5 years in Minneapolis in the 90's. we used many less expensive ways to rebuild. when the building inspectors did not agree, we had a structural engineer describe how it could work. normally this might cost now 10 - 20 K. this depends on what the structural engineer costs. at time time i had a structural engineer friend who was happy to help, as he loved the mothods we were using. we have leads on at least one structural engineer who can help us.

there are some interesting applications of this. right now square one has built 6 houses on one urban lot in line with new state wide building codes. if there are people who have not been able to afford getting homes fixed we can offer them ways to do this where they do not pay. (one way being to use part of their lot for more houses. there are other ways as well.

contact me if you want to know more about any of the above.

a

we believe this is important work for these times, as the cost of building to the unified building code contributes in a a major way to homelessness. rob bolman many years ago built himself a straw bale house, using engineers to show how it would work. now there are almost 30 stawbale houses in eugene.

we would like to find a damaged house that needs repairs ideally in eugene proper. if you know of anyone with such a house, please message me.

new codes allow 6 low income houses on a city lot. we would look at building more units on the lot. see square one units in springfield on their web site. i am hoping for some kind of combination of transition housing and permanent housing. i think it is possible to build a permanet house in the nighborhood of 70,000 for 600 to 800 sq. feet. we need to look at these kind of solutions.

this is a good time to find these people as many people cannot afford extensive repairs because of the very high lumbar prices. it is great for low income folks as it might save 50 - 100 K.

o

t

On Tue, Jul 27, 2021 at 4:36 PM Sally Bachman <Sarahbach@...> wrote:

FYI

 

Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland

Wednesday: A homeless couple went from a tent to a trailer, but continues to wait after more than a year for something more permanent.

By Brett Simpson

July 14, 2021

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/14/us/oakland-homeless-housing.html?searchResultPosition=1

 

Good morning.

When Kymberli Wilson opens her eyes in the morning, the sight of a solid roof still disorients her.

She and her husband, Lenton, live in a 20-foot trailer at the Coliseum Stadium parking lot in Oakland. Home used to be a tent at the 77th Street homeless encampment, where they had to fill two jugs of water daily and dodge rats at night.

“It’s a big step up from the sidewalk,” Kymberli, 56, said. “No leaks, no wind, and we’re never cold.”

Kymberli and Lenton, 61, arrived at the city-run trailer site last May. But they never expected to stay. In a time of increased investment in helping the homeless, the trailer was offered as a pathway to permanent housing. And this year, a real home seemed within reach for the couple.

In January, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $1.75 billion of new investment in housing, and in March, President Biden’s American Rescue Act passed with $50 billion in housing and homelessness assistance.

But more than a year after arriving at a stadium parking lot that was meant to be temporary, the Wilsons remain in the trailer, and feel no closer to finding permanent housing and leaving life on the streets behind.

A broken-down Cadillac near the tent where the Wilsons had been living, before they moved to a trailer. Credit...Jared R. Stapp

The Wilsons are two of the approximately 2,000 homeless seniors in Alameda County. Some have gotten lucky with long-term leases on apartments, group homes and hotel rooms. But the Wilsons’ odyssey through a year of hope and disappointment points to a more persistent crisis for the homeless population that has evaded solutions, despite a significant injection of pandemic-relief money.

“I don’t worry about a virus,” Kymberli Wilson said. “It will be false hope that gets us in the end.”

A little more than a year ago, the Wilsons’ tent-home in Oakland at the 77th Street homeless encampment had no solid walls. At the end of a line of tents, under the overpass of the Coliseum BART station, the structure was unmistakable: a sprawling patchwork of blue tarp, gray nylon and red duct tape stretched over wooden beams. Other homeless residents there called it “the mansion.”

Outside, bikes, lawn mowers and construction tools were sprawled everywhere. Inside, there was a kitchen table, a full-size bed and a dresser full of clothes.

It was all that remained of the couple’s old life. In 2014, both left their jobs at the nearby Oakland Arena — she was a cashier, he was a parking attendant — to care for her father. When her father died in 2015, she and her husband were evicted from her father’s house. They spent a year in a parking lot behind a Church’s Chicken, then moved to the encampment.

They started a landscaping business, pulling their gear on a trailer behind a mint green cruiser bicycle as they rode across the city to tend lawns and dreamed of saving enough to escape. Last year, as Covid-19 swept across the state, the pandemic brought fear and uncertainty but also something unexpected: opportunity.

One morning last year in mid-April, the encampment leader showed up at the Wilsons’ tent with news: Oakland was receiving 67 fully furnished and state-financed trailers from the state’s Office of Emergency Services to house homeless people during the pandemic. Because of their ages, the Wilsons were eligible.

The trailer community at the Oakland parking lot where the Wilsons live.Credit...Jared R. Stapp

A trailer meant running water and electricity. It meant no more trips across the BART tracks to fill five-gallon jugs with water. And no more noisy generator consuming gallons of costly gas every day. But the Wilsons were hesitant. The trailer was smaller than their tent, with less storage space. And there was no sense of how long they could stay after the pandemic.

“Our tent is all we have,” Kymberli said that night in April. “If we leave, we can never come back.”

Then they heard from a former neighbor that Operation HomeBase, a new city program to help Oakland’s oldest and most vulnerable homeless residents, wouldn’t just provide a trailer, but would also provide a case worker to help them find permanent housing. The couple talked it over, eating Panda Express on the queen-size bed in the so-called mansion. And they decided to take the risk.

“We’re not getting any younger,” Kymberli said at the time. “Every choice we make is to get back inside.”

So on May 28, the Wilsons loaded the possessions they could fit onto their bike trailer — mowers, food, clothes, shoes — and traversed the overpass to a parking lot on Hegenberger Road. They filled out forms, received keys to Unit 46 and walked inside. What they saw stunned them: an open interior, filled with light from six windows. Gleaming brown cabinets, an upholstered couch, a bed and a kitchen table. Air-conditioning, Wi-Fi and an indoor bathroom.

Outside, an awning unfolded with the push of a button. And a community building offered free on-site meals, laundry service and medical support to all residents. As soon as the Wilsons dropped off their belongings, they took celebratory showers.

As the summer faded into the fall, they adjusted. They stopped expecting the sound of rats at night. They got used to using the bathroom without going outside. Three times a day, they got in line with the other residents and enjoyed a free meal — compliments of local restaurants. The Sunday brunch was their favorite: eggs, sausages, hash browns and Danishes. They began to gain weight.

But a promised case worker, who was supposed to help them transition to a home, never materialized. In January, the Wilsons took matters into their own hands. They applied for spots in public and private housing programs. Time and again, they failed to win the housing lottery. They are now on four waiting lists.

 

Kymberli and Lenton Wilson outside of the tent where they were living last year.Credit...Jared R. Stapp

Marichelle Alcantara, homeless programs manager for Operation HomeBase, said only one case worker served all 124 of the site’s residents for the first year of the operation. In May, the site hired three more case workers. But the Wilsons, both healthy and without dependents, have not reached the top of the priority list.

“Honestly, we expected people to arrive with their own case workers,” Alcantara said in April. “We were overwhelmed by the demand for support.”

In late April, the city announced that Operation HomeBase would be extended for another year. All residents can continue living at the Hegenberger Road site until 2022.

But the Wilsons feel stuck.

They cannot move forward, and they cannot go back to the tent. Their old “mansion” still sits under the BART overpass, but it is now occupied. Everything the Wilsons left behind there has long since been claimed. Their former friends and neighbors have mostly scattered to state-sponsored hotel rooms under Project Roomkey, another program that started during the pandemic.

“We want a house key. We want to pay rent,” Kymberli said. “We never thought we’d have to wait this long.”

Brett Simpson writes for the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism.

 



--
At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you. Whatever you can do or dream you can do begin it now. Boldness has genius, magic and power in it. Goethe
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”  Buckminster Fuller

Charlotte 001  787-366-9344, 541 579 8607 



Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland-NY Times

Sally Bachman
 

FYI

 

Hope and Disappointment for the Homeless in Oakland

Wednesday: A homeless couple went from a tent to a trailer, but continues to wait after more than a year for something more permanent.

By Brett Simpson

July 14, 2021

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/14/us/oakland-homeless-housing.html?searchResultPosition=1

 

Good morning.

When Kymberli Wilson opens her eyes in the morning, the sight of a solid roof still disorients her.

She and her husband, Lenton, live in a 20-foot trailer at the Coliseum Stadium parking lot in Oakland. Home used to be a tent at the 77th Street homeless encampment, where they had to fill two jugs of water daily and dodge rats at night.

“It’s a big step up from the sidewalk,” Kymberli, 56, said. “No leaks, no wind, and we’re never cold.”

Kymberli and Lenton, 61, arrived at the city-run trailer site last May. But they never expected to stay. In a time of increased investment in helping the homeless, the trailer was offered as a pathway to permanent housing. And this year, a real home seemed within reach for the couple.

In January, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $1.75 billion of new investment in housing, and in March, President Biden’s American Rescue Act passed with $50 billion in housing and homelessness assistance.

But more than a year after arriving at a stadium parking lot that was meant to be temporary, the Wilsons remain in the trailer, and feel no closer to finding permanent housing and leaving life on the streets behind.

A broken-down Cadillac near the tent where the Wilsons had been living, before they moved to a trailer. Credit...Jared R. Stapp

The Wilsons are two of the approximately 2,000 homeless seniors in Alameda County. Some have gotten lucky with long-term leases on apartments, group homes and hotel rooms. But the Wilsons’ odyssey through a year of hope and disappointment points to a more persistent crisis for the homeless population that has evaded solutions, despite a significant injection of pandemic-relief money.

“I don’t worry about a virus,” Kymberli Wilson said. “It will be false hope that gets us in the end.”

A little more than a year ago, the Wilsons’ tent-home in Oakland at the 77th Street homeless encampment had no solid walls. At the end of a line of tents, under the overpass of the Coliseum BART station, the structure was unmistakable: a sprawling patchwork of blue tarp, gray nylon and red duct tape stretched over wooden beams. Other homeless residents there called it “the mansion.”

Outside, bikes, lawn mowers and construction tools were sprawled everywhere. Inside, there was a kitchen table, a full-size bed and a dresser full of clothes.

It was all that remained of the couple’s old life. In 2014, both left their jobs at the nearby Oakland Arena — she was a cashier, he was a parking attendant — to care for her father. When her father died in 2015, she and her husband were evicted from her father’s house. They spent a year in a parking lot behind a Church’s Chicken, then moved to the encampment.

They started a landscaping business, pulling their gear on a trailer behind a mint green cruiser bicycle as they rode across the city to tend lawns and dreamed of saving enough to escape. Last year, as Covid-19 swept across the state, the pandemic brought fear and uncertainty but also something unexpected: opportunity.

One morning last year in mid-April, the encampment leader showed up at the Wilsons’ tent with news: Oakland was receiving 67 fully furnished and state-financed trailers from the state’s Office of Emergency Services to house homeless people during the pandemic. Because of their ages, the Wilsons were eligible.

The trailer community at the Oakland parking lot where the Wilsons live.Credit...Jared R. Stapp

A trailer meant running water and electricity. It meant no more trips across the BART tracks to fill five-gallon jugs with water. And no more noisy generator consuming gallons of costly gas every day. But the Wilsons were hesitant. The trailer was smaller than their tent, with less storage space. And there was no sense of how long they could stay after the pandemic.

“Our tent is all we have,” Kymberli said that night in April. “If we leave, we can never come back.”

Then they heard from a former neighbor that Operation HomeBase, a new city program to help Oakland’s oldest and most vulnerable homeless residents, wouldn’t just provide a trailer, but would also provide a case worker to help them find permanent housing. The couple talked it over, eating Panda Express on the queen-size bed in the so-called mansion. And they decided to take the risk.

“We’re not getting any younger,” Kymberli said at the time. “Every choice we make is to get back inside.”

So on May 28, the Wilsons loaded the possessions they could fit onto their bike trailer — mowers, food, clothes, shoes — and traversed the overpass to a parking lot on Hegenberger Road. They filled out forms, received keys to Unit 46 and walked inside. What they saw stunned them: an open interior, filled with light from six windows. Gleaming brown cabinets, an upholstered couch, a bed and a kitchen table. Air-conditioning, Wi-Fi and an indoor bathroom.

Outside, an awning unfolded with the push of a button. And a community building offered free on-site meals, laundry service and medical support to all residents. As soon as the Wilsons dropped off their belongings, they took celebratory showers.

As the summer faded into the fall, they adjusted. They stopped expecting the sound of rats at night. They got used to using the bathroom without going outside. Three times a day, they got in line with the other residents and enjoyed a free meal — compliments of local restaurants. The Sunday brunch was their favorite: eggs, sausages, hash browns and Danishes. They began to gain weight.

But a promised case worker, who was supposed to help them transition to a home, never materialized. In January, the Wilsons took matters into their own hands. They applied for spots in public and private housing programs. Time and again, they failed to win the housing lottery. They are now on four waiting lists.

 

Kymberli and Lenton Wilson outside of the tent where they were living last year.Credit...Jared R. Stapp

Marichelle Alcantara, homeless programs manager for Operation HomeBase, said only one case worker served all 124 of the site’s residents for the first year of the operation. In May, the site hired three more case workers. But the Wilsons, both healthy and without dependents, have not reached the top of the priority list.

“Honestly, we expected people to arrive with their own case workers,” Alcantara said in April. “We were overwhelmed by the demand for support.”

In late April, the city announced that Operation HomeBase would be extended for another year. All residents can continue living at the Hegenberger Road site until 2022.

But the Wilsons feel stuck.

They cannot move forward, and they cannot go back to the tent. Their old “mansion” still sits under the BART overpass, but it is now occupied. Everything the Wilsons left behind there has long since been claimed. Their former friends and neighbors have mostly scattered to state-sponsored hotel rooms under Project Roomkey, another program that started during the pandemic.

“We want a house key. We want to pay rent,” Kymberli said. “We never thought we’d have to wait this long.”

Brett Simpson writes for the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism.

 


Re: City of Oakland plans 'co-governed encampments' at 3rd & Peralta, E. 12th St & 2nd Ave

Peter Finley Fry
 

I read that LA has over 60,000 people house less   

Peter Finley Fry
303 NW Uptown Terrace #1B
Portland, Oregon 97210
503 703-8033 

On Jul 26, 2021, at 11:20 PM, Tim McCormick via groups.io <tmccormick@...> wrote:

expected to open by Labor Day, said Justin Tombolesi, an aide to Councilwoman Carroll Fife. The site is in Fife’s district.


City of Oakland plans 'co-governed encampments' at 3rd & Peralta, E. 12th St & 2nd Ave

Tim McCormick
 

[Moderator note: off the bat, I'm skeptical (as usual) of this story/development because it doesn't mention any organization or persons representing the houseless, either as being involved or offering any comment (other than James Vann of the Homeless Advocacy Working Group, an estimable figure but not apparently involved specifically in the initiatives) 

There's a whole array of committed, effective, houseless-centered groups & leaders working on this in Oakland, like Cob on Wood, & The Village in Oakland 

 so I'm doubtful that a "city-run" effort not mentioning/involving any is on a path to real "co-governing". 


Also, I note that structures seem already selected, "wooden pallet structures" (which is, what?) in one case, Pallet Shelters in the other. Predetermining this is, I'd suggest, generally not what a real self-determining community effort would likely do. "Housing is a verb," as J.F.C. Turner's maxim & essay title (1972) says. 


"City leaders have long expressed a desire to open a co-governed encampment, where the residents would work with service providers to maintain the site."


This sounds like unpaid maintenance work, not self-determination, and no possibility of deciding to ''maintain' ie continue the sites, past the temporary lease of CalTrans or in-development site by the City. You can 'invest' your labor, comrades, it's just you dont get to keep or decide anything, seems like.

------------------


"This Oakland homeless encampment will be co-run by the residents themselves"

by Sarah Ravani, sfchronicle.com

July 26, 2021 10:50 PM


https://www.sfchronicle.com/eastbay/article/With-city-s-blessing-Oakland-s-unhoused-will-16341345.php



The city will lease a vacant lot from Caltrans at Third and Peralta streets at no cost for three years and provide wooden-pallet shelters to residents as part of an effort to address its skyrocketing homelessness crisis.


In 2019, the most recent data available, Oakland counted more than 3,200 unsheltered people on city streets out of a total homeless population of more than 4,000 — a nearly 68% increase from 2017. That number has likely increased during the pandemic.


The Third and Peralta streets site is expected to open by Labor Day, said Justin Tombolesi, an aide to Councilwoman Carroll Fife. The site is in Fife’s district.


Tombolesi said the city will canvass current encampments under threat of displacement by Caltrans, which has indicated it wants to clear some encampments on its land in Oakland, to move to the city-run site.


The city has struggled to help its growing homeless population. A scathing April report from the city auditor’s office found Oakland officials lacked an effective strategy in dealing with a growing number of unsheltered residents living on city streets and failed to provide policy direction and adequate funding to handle the crisis.


Since then, city council members and the administration have worked to find alternate solutions to address the need. In March, the administration released a report that listed vacant city-owned sites in each council district that could be used for homeless interventions.


The report stated that $3.9 million of unused funds allocated for homelessness are available. All of those funds will be used to pay for the Third and Peralta streets co-governed encampment and a second one planned for near Lake Merritt. The Housing Consortium of the East Bay will operate both sites.


City leaders have long expressed a desire to open a co-governed encampment, where the residents would work with service providers to maintain the site.


James Vann, one of the founders of the Homeless Advocacy Working Group in Oakland, said co-governed encampments can be key in providing emergency shelter. And a “co-governed” model allows residents to have autonomy and responsibility, he added.


The exact details of how the co-governed encampment at Third and Peralta streets will run have not yet been determined.


Other Bay Area cities have pursued similar interventions. San Francisco has city-sanctioned tent encampments. Berkeley also wanted to open an outdoor city-sanctioned tent site, but instead decided to open an indoor tent shelter earlier this month. But these interventions are different than Oakland’s co-governed encampment model, which relies on residents to maintain the properties and provides wooden-pallet shelters.


“In a more democratic fashion, it turns over a lot of the responsibility for the arrangement — the management, the upkeep of an encampment — to the residents themselves,” he added.


Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas also has plans for a co-governed encampment at East 12th Street and Second Avenue on a vacant lot. A developer eventually plans to break ground on 361 homes at the site, but until then, Bas said she plans to build pallet shelters with electricity for 60 people.


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Bcc:
Justin Tombolesi. Constituent Liaison. Office of the City Council. jtombolesi@...

Sarah Ravani, SF Chronicle

[Note to all recipients: you can and are welcomed to respond to full PDX Shelter Forum group, by including address pdxshelterforum@groups.io in your reply]



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Tim McCormick
Moderator PDX Shelter Forum, Editor at HousingWiki,
Organizer at Village Collaborative
Portland, Oregon 


NYT Opinion: It’s Hard to Have Faith in a State That Can’t Even House Its People

Tim McCormick
 

Today in NYT Opinion, an analysis of & prescription for homelessness from Ned Resnikoff, journalist now policy manager at UCSF BHHI. I find it unfortunately oversimple and conventional in outlook. 


If weak democracy & racism explains homelessness, why is it highest in NY, CA, MA, lowest in Deep South? Why would the wealthiest places and people let housing 'supply' greatly drop home values & their wealth, and when/where in the US are communities going to broadly give to anyone in need, no strings attached, conventional middle-class housing?


Also, how do you address a huge humanitaritian disaster situation, homelessness, with regular housing development, while opposing anything considered 'shelter', as this op-ed and most of the homelessness esrablishment currently does. This has been dominant expert opinion & policy for 15+ years, how well is it working? Let's have the houseless lead us.


I have proposed a  #WeHouseLA contest and forum, modeled partly on the recent Low Rise LA initiative, but, houseless-led & judged, for rapid homelessness responses, possibly to offer action paths in the epochal #LAAllianceVCityofLA court case. eg w/USC Academy in the Public Square initiative, USC Price Center for Social Innovation, and it's sub-program the Homelessness Policy Research Institute (with all of which I've been lately discussing possible collaborations). https://twitter.com/tmccormick/status/1403826362805227520?s=21

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Tim McCormick
Moderator PDX Shelter Forum, Editor at HousingWiki,
Organizer at Village Collaborative
Portland, Oregon 


Re: VanWa is seeking campsite proposals

Adam kravitz
 

Hi 
We went back and forth with the last timeline of this RFP. Trying to decide if we had capacity. Then at the last minute we went for it, but got the date wrong and submitted it a few hours late. Thankfully this has been extended . I am going to send you what we put together right now. If you would like to critique or suggest anything let us know. We would value your insight. 

On Sat, Jul 24, 2021 at 4:16 PM Jason Renaud <info@...> wrote:

Vancouver is seeking proposals from qualified firms/individuals for develop & implement a supportive campsite & safe park programs to be utilized as alternative shelter for individuals living unsheltered or in vehicles, RVs, campers/trailers.

https://cityofvancouver.bonfirehub.com/opportunities/48736

For those interested - VanWa has had some misstarts in addressing homelessness in the past couple of years but seemed to have learned from those, and have a SMIDGEN of the bureaucracy of MultCo/PDX, same money, and smart direct contact staff.

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Thank you!

Adam Kravitz AAC CPC
AMCI Adult Mobile Crisis Intervention/CSNW/Sea-Mar
OutsidersInn  Executive Director St Paul's shelter
Email: outsidersinnorg@gmail.com         Homelessadvocate66@...
Web:   www.outsidersinn.org               (360) 830-6647


VanWa is seeking campsite proposals

Jason Renaud
 

Vancouver is seeking proposals from qualified firms/individuals for develop & implement a supportive campsite & safe park programs to be utilized as alternative shelter for individuals living unsheltered or in vehicles, RVs, campers/trailers.

https://cityofvancouver.bonfirehub.com/opportunities/48736

For those interested - VanWa has had some misstarts in addressing homelessness in the past couple of years but seemed to have learned from those, and have a SMIDGEN of the bureaucracy of MultCo/PDX, same money, and smart direct contact staff.

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