Provide Shelter for Homeless Individuals in Oakland
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As you may know, the population of homeless people is increasing rapidly throughout Oakland, specifically in West Oakland. They create health and safety hazards for people nearby, and often accidentally frighten Oakland residents. A primary reason why so many people end up in the street today is because of the ever increasing rent cost. In recent years, rent has gone up and people that can’t afford homes, have nowhere to go. Besides rent, since there are no support services provided for most homeless people today, they have troubles getting back into society because of either drug addictions, mental illnesses or criminal records.
After being forced onto the street, homeless individuals end up creating lots of unintentional problems with sanitation, which is not only unpleasant to look at and to smell, but it can also be unsafe. Ever since the increase of the encampments in West Oakland there has been more and more health, safety, and fire code violations that the community has had to deal with even though the homeless didn’t intend for these violations to happen.
Residents and business owners in Oakland are also immensely impacted, as homeless individuals tend to unintentionally frighten bystanders away from stores, pathways and parking lots. Alan Lucchesi owns a recording studio in West Oakland and claims that he has lost business because of the homeless encampments. As Lucchesi said in a 2017 original research interview, “They don’t want to come to Oakland with their brand new guitar and their brand new drum sets because they’re scared of the people in the camps. They have a reason to be scared”. Lucchesi is one of many Oakland business owners losing customers because of the unsanitary and unsafe conditions that are results from nearby homeless encampments thus proving we need to move them into better shelter.
So we ask for about 50 “mini homes” to be created, each with basic essentials inside. Some basic essentials may include beds, showers, toilets, etc. We also want to prioritize providing these mini homes to the homeless individuals that are complained about more often. Creating mini homes will make shelter less crowded and allow people live in a great environment to try starting over with support.
Considering the money that is currently spent on cleaning up homeless camps, this project will be affordable and worth the cost. Since all of these homes are going to be filled up, any residents have a choice to leave when they feel like they have enough stable income and support services to move in a bigger better place like an apartment so that another homeless individual who needs the shelter more can move in.
This shall be an effective solution to the massive numbers of homeless encampments throughout West Oakland and the high rents because it would greatly reduce the number of encampments on the streets and make rent irrelevant for the time being for these people in Oakland. In a 2015 article titled, “Utah Reduced Chronic Homeless by 91 percent ; Here’s How”, Kelly McEvers writes that, “By implementing a model known as Housing First, Utah has reduced that number from nearly 2,000 people in 2005, to fewer than 200 now.” Housing First is a system where it provides permanent housing as quickly as possible for people experiencing homelessness. Since our request is similar to Utah’s solution to homelessness and their solution has been proven to be very effective, our solution to the encampments should be just about equally successful.
Kevin Tran (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Antonio Lucchesi (email@example.com)
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