From Sidewalk to Services: Working Together to Shelter Homeless People in Oakland
Sutter Supports ‘Community Cabins’ to Offer Safer and Healthier Respite from the Streets
OAKLAND, Calif. –Sutter Health and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center representatives today joined with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Emeryville Mayor Ally Medina, state and local government officials, and other community partners including Home Depot, Target and the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, to announce the opening of the city of Oakland’s fifth Community Cabin site. The new site, which will house 76 unsheltered people, is located on Caltrans property near the West Oakland/Emeryville border on Mandela Parkway.
Sutter and Alta Bates Summit are committed to improving the health and wellness of the community by investing in innovative solutions and collaborative partnerships. Together, they have contributed nearly a half million dollars in community health grants to support the city of Oakland’s initiative to help move homeless people from encampments into temporary shelters. The Mandela Parkway Community Cabin site is the fifth such site in Oakland to which Sutter and Alta Bates Summit have provided monetary support over the past couple of years.
According to Mayor Schaaf, there are roughly 3,000 unsheltered people living on the streets of Oakland—the majority of whom are long-term Oakland residents.
Community Cabin sites are an emergency intervention designed to serve as a temporary bridge from the sidewalk to services, from the street to housing. At the Community Cabin sites, people in need are connected to health services including healthcare, mental health and addiction recovery services, wrap-around social services, public benefits and other resources to help them end their unsheltered status. The Community Cabin sites are designed to increase people’s health, stability, dignity and safety while service providers work intensively to help end their unsheltered status.
“What is unique about this model is that we’re offering people privacy and security,” Mayor Schaaf said. “They know their possessions are securely stored and they have onsite navigators to help them toward full employment as well as permanent housing.
As of the end of June 2019, the four exiting Community Cabins sites have served 350 individuals and are currently serving 104 people. Sixty-seven percent of all exits from the Community Cabins to date have been positive (167 of 250 exits), meaning program participants end their unsheltered status by moving into permanent housing, shelter placement, or reunification with friends and family.