Homelessness

Is Alameda County’s unhoused population growing?

By summer, Alameda County hopes to have an estimate of the number of residents who are sheltering on streets, in parks and encampments, under highways, and in cars, vans, and recreational vehicles.  The counting started on a cold Wednesday last month when volunteers embarked on EveryoneCounts! 2022, a point-in-time tally of homeless residents in the county. The count is followed by a two-week survey, where guides interview homeless residents to get a deeper understanding of the services they need. The…

RV dwellers can park on private property in residential areas under new ordinance

Oakland City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Tuesday that allows people to park and occupy recreational vehicles, mobile homes, and manufactured homes on private property in residential areas, if the property owner permits. The Construction Innovation And Expanded Housing Options ordinance was crafted to create more housing options for Oakland residents. It also updates zoning and blight restrictions, which previously made it illegal to reside in permanently parked RVs in residentially zoned districts.  “As part of the multifaceted effort to…

Caltrans bulldozes tiny home without required notice, advocates say

Volunteers with Artists Building Communities spent 10 days last month building a fire-proof, 4-foot-by-8-foot cobbed tiny home in the Wood Street encampment under Interstate 880. The next morning, neighboring residents watched as California Highway Patrol officers and California Department of Transportation workers bulldozed the home. Residents of the encampment and advocates from Artists Building Communities say the tiny home was demolished on Oct. 11 without the legally required 48-hour notice. Tariq Ahmad Bhat was looking forward to moving into the…

Union Point on the Rise soon to be Oakland’s first co-governed cabin community

Every Tuesday members of Union Point on the Rise, a community of 16 unhoused folks, gather on the patio of their current residence, the Travel Inn on MacArthur Boulevard. In a circle of mismatched chairs, they discuss the design, management, and regulations of their future home at Lakeview Village — the first co-governed housing encampment in Oakland. Spanning the block of 12th Street between First and Second avenues, Lakeview Village is a project to move 65 unhoused neighbors into temporary…

Group honors the “Muffin Man” for delivering food to people in Oakland who need it

Out of the back of a green Dodge pickup, the Muffin Man has been feeding underserved communities in Oakland for almost two decades. His truck is loaded with crates of canned food, baked goods, pet food; jars of spices, fruits, vegetables, dairy products; various meats, sweets, bread, and even flowers. Jack Dice distributes the bounty in Oakland neighborhoods, where he is known as the “Muffin Man” because he leads a group of volunteers called The Muffin People. They collect food…

Think Newsom should be recalled? People in Oakland weigh in.

For the second time in 20 years, a California governor is facing recall. On Tuesday, the state will find out if Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom will finish the last 15 months of his term or become the second governor — after Democrat Gray Davis in 2003 — to be recalled. Voting started by mail in August, with two questions on the ballot: Shall Newsom be recalled? And, if so, who should replace him: one of the 46 candidates on the…

South Bay residents to decide the future of neighbors who live in RVs

In recent years, Oakland city officials have struggled to address the growing number of residents who have begun living in RVs on the city’s streets. One nearby community in the South Bay is grappling with a similar issue ahead of tomorrow’s election.  Headquarters to Google and home to branches of companies like Microsoft and LinkedIn,  Mountain View has some of the most sought-after real estate in Silicon Valley. A stroll past its manicured yards offers a glimpse of a high-tech idyll…