On January 30, I woke up before dawn to drive around East Oakland and count all the homeless people I could find. I was one of the 600 volunteers who participated in the 2019 Point-in-Time (PIT) homeless count for Alameda County, California. The PIT count is a nationwide effort to tally the number of unsheltered Americans living on the street on a single night in January.
An art cart parked on Adeline Street was the first sign that there was an event happening on Saturday, January 26. That night, passersby would have noticed a crowd gathered inside of Youth Spirit Artworks’ Shanice Kiel Gallery. The crowded, well-lit room stood out against the dark streets surrounding it.