Oakland, CA—Over the past 10 days, the 39 unsheltered residents that had been living in a large homeless encampment at East 12th Street & 23rd Avenue have been moving into the newest Community Cabin site, the City’s fourth, located at 1449 Miller Avenue in the Fruitvale District of East Oakland. So far, about 14 of the residents have moved in, and there are enough cabins and beds to accommodate all of the people who have been living at the encampment, about 39 in total.
Starting today, the City of Oakland is beginning to remove the tons of accumulated debris and abandoned vehicles at the site, and will soon close the encampment to accommodate construction of the $10 million 23rd Avenue Bridge seismic retrofit project.
Community Cabins are a Temporary Bridge to End Unsheltered Status
The Community Cabin sites provide a safer and healthier respite from the streets, where unsheltered residents receive wrap-around services to help them end their unsheltered status, including onsite housing navigators (housing-focused case managers) who connect participants to vital needs:
- Linkages to healthcare, mental health, and addiction recovery services
- Linkages to the mainstream homeless services system
- Assistance securing benefits, acquiring California ID, and seeking jobs
The goal is for people to move in, receive services, and move on to the next step on their path to housing. The program is 100% voluntary, and people can come and go 24/7. The sites are designed to be extremely low barrier, with minimal rules. Participants are asked to abide by a Code of Conduct that is designed to maintain a healthy and safe community.
An Effective and Compassionate Intervention
The Community Cabin model has been an effective and compassionate intervention focused on increasing people’s health, stability, dignity, and safety while service providers intensively work with people to help end their unsheltered status.
To date, the three Community Cabin sites (6th & Castro, 27th & Northgate, and Lake Merritt) have served 222 people (currently serving 73 individuals):
- 68% of all exits to-date are positive (105 of 153 exits), meaning program participants ended their unsheltered status (i.e., permanent housing, transitional housing, shelter placement, or reunification with friends and family)
- 41 people found employment
At the recently closed site at 6th and Castro, of the 74 homeless people who stayed there, 76 percent are now living in either permanent or transitional housing.
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