Mental illness is often cited as one of the driving factors behind the growing homeless population in cities such as Berkeley and Oakland. A lack of resources for the mentally ill has led many people to the streets.
The project that is documenting the items—and identities—that are lost in encampment sweeps.
The homeless property yard at the San Francisco Department of Public Works saw an unusually busy Saturday afternoon on June 22—more activity than the workers anticipated.
When I was homeless in the San Francisco Bay Area, I relied to a large degree on the moral support of lifelong friends and family who were not. For one reason or another, it was not feasible for any of them to let me stay in their homes for any substantial length of time.
Sanctioning self-governed encampments. Providing storage options for unsheltered residents. Prohibiting evictions during extreme weather. These are just some of the changes that Oakland City Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas is suggesting to the City of Oakland’s Encampment Management Policy.
As I walk through a Roma village in Istanbul, I see pink and yellow painted houses that are rusting, with open windows that have clothes hanging down the sides. There is trash everywhere I step. Ahead of me in the distance, I see tall buildings that are multicolored and modern. These are the apartment buildings that are replacing the Roma village. As Roma activist Sadi Cati shows me around, the Roma people living in the little houses look very unhappy while staring at me.
On Thursday, May 16, at the First Congregational Church of Oakland, the youth leaders of Youth Spirit Artworks unveiled what they believe is a solution to the East Bay’s affordability crisis: a 70 square foot Tiny House, featuring a skylight, several windows, two doors, solar-energy heated floors, and two brightly-painted murals along each length of its exterior.
Creating multiple inconveniences was one of many strategies for interfering with James Michaelson’s inconvenient, daily activities. He was opening a can of tomatoes, and my prompt instructed me to speak into the microphone.