A cooperative solution is key to re-creating community!
Oakland Homeless Green Team Program:
◆ In Oakland by last count, 150 people were housed in Tuff Sheds with no running water, while 1,000 new homeless people set up camp on the streets. This is immoral, uncivilized, inhumane, and unacceptable in this wealthy nation’s wealthiest state.
◆ Government has a responsibility to intervene on behalf of the homeless and the housing insecure. Politicians and elected officials are responsible to make this happen.
◆ Recognize the homeless camps as a contributing part of the Oakland community. Local government should support, protect and fund these camps, just as they fund other community resources across the city.
◆ The City should use Eminent Domain to seize chronically tax delinquent and vacant properties, those that have been abandoned or avoiding taxes for years, and make them available for the homeless. By some official estimates Oakland has 5,000 or more such properties.
◆ The City should employ the homeless to fix such properties, and employ this population in creating stable housing and stable communities. In addition, the City is responsible to build housing for the homeless.
◆ Establish a moratorium on homeless programs run by non-profits. These should be reconfigured and audited with total transparency. These programs should be led and run by the homeless themselves. All too often non-profits use the bulk of funding for salaries and management with little left over to help the homeless. Providing a health kit and a bag lunch is simply not acceptable. Use all this money for the homeless!
◆ End programs that are designed simply to “manage the poor” segregate and criminalize the homeless.
◆ Local Government should prioritize programs that allow groups of homeless people to earn enough collectively for first and last month rents.
◆ City programs should pay wages in cash and not simply in gift cards. Landlords do not accept gift cards.
◆ The City should allow people to get business licenses without an address. Many homeless people have good skills they can’t use because of hiring discrimination.
The Homeless Green Team cleans up the garbage in homeless camps that the city refuses to touch. This Program is only a beginning. We intend for our tent communities to be recognized as stable and vital parts of our city. We offer this program to all those who throw up their hands and say “There just isn’t any way to solve the problem of homelessness and housing insecurity.” The homeless can all be housed tomorrow! This program speaks only to alleviating the housing crisis for the most vulnerable, the homeless. We plan more proposals to address the plight of the housing insecure.