Oakland, CA – Today, the City of Oakland opened a new cabin shelter program at 2601 Wood Street. Developed using an $8.3 million grant from the State of California, the cabin program will be able to house up to 100 people, with priority given to unsheltered community members living in the Wood Street area. The shelter program includes housing navigation, job placement support, case management, counseling, and other services.
“The City of Oakland is proud to deliver this 100-bed temporary shelter program,” said Assistant City Administrator LaTonda Simmons. “We stood up this program in partnership with the State with significant community engagement and support from local residents and businesses. This program provides critical support to the Wood Street community and the nearby encampment. We also look forward to the opening later this month of a new 100+ RV parking program that will serve our unhoused residents living in RVs and trailers.”
When fully complete, the cabin shelter program will consist of 70 cabins for individuals, 12 double cabins for couples (housing 24 people total), and six accessible cabins for persons with disabilities. Program participants will have 24/7 access to the site and are welcome to bring up to two pets.
The site includes restroom, shower, and laundry facilities, electricity, a community kitchen and eating space, limited secured storage for personal belongings, security, parking, and two meals per day. Each cabin includes a secure, locked door and windows, a wall-mounted heater, an overhead light and at least two electrical outlets. The program is managed and operated by Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS).
Outreach teams have made more than 20 in-person visits to the nearby Wood Street encampment, engaging with approximately 70 individuals to offer shelter, programs and services. To date, approximately 30 individuals have expressed interest in participating in the Wood Street cabin program.
The new cabin shelter program at Wood Street complements the City’s cabin shelters at Oak Street, Mandela, and others, and brings the total number of beds in these programs to 334. Emergency measures like community cabins and safe RV parking sites have enabled hundreds of encampment residents to move from the streets and towards permanent housing.
Oakland responded to the crisis level surge in homelessness by taking an action-first approach, innovating and learning continuously. Since the cabin shelter program began in 2017, the cabins have evolved to include additional amenities and improvements, such as heaters, electricity, and laundry facilities.
Cabin shelter programs provide participants with basic services as they work with on-site case managers to transition into maximum self-sufficiency and permanent housing. The sites afford a hard roof to sleep under every night; an established community network of friends and consistent resources; a supportive staff of case managers to connect residents to vital needs such as acquiring California ID, securing benefits, seeking employment, and ultimately getting housed.
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.
The Wood Street cabin planning team held multiple onsite design meetings, each attended by approximately 30 participants. The team was able to accommodate the needs and requests of Wood Street encampment residents, who specifically requested plumbed bathrooms, a community space, the ability to cook their own food, and workforce opportunities.
According to the 2022 Point in Time homeless count, the City has more than 5,000 homeless individuals, which is a 24% increase over 2019. 47% of the unsheltered people in Alameda County live in Oakland.