ROOFLess Radio Tent Encampment WeSearch Findings Oakland- (Poor People-led Research)

Tiny - Posted on 03 May 2017

RoofLESS Radio WeSearch (Poor People-led Research) Study Findings of Unhoused Encampments in Oakland (Huchuin)

Summary Overview: Us unhoused folks have become unhoused due to a variety of causes, including race and class based profiling and criminalization of poor folks of color, extreme rise in evictions, foreclosures and land grabs of our neighborhoods and the trauma of poverty, capitalism and racism, causing us to hurt, lose, or disconnect from our own selves, families and communities. (See below for details)

As well, the majority of us unhoused folks want liberated Ohlone/Lisjen (Oakland) land to build our own self-determined, Homefulness projects. Some of us just want small apartments to live in safely, but none of us want more temporary solutions that end us up outside again.

Locations: Three Encempments of Unhoused Folks (WestOakland, North Oakland, East Oakland)

(WeSearch video documentation available on the RoofLESS radio channel here)

WeSearch Studies Conducted: December 27, 2016-March 1, 2017

Participants: 83 participants


Findings and Demographics:

60% of unhoused residents lost housing because of race and class based arrests

98% of unhoused residents are of African Descent

96.5% of unhoused residents are Life-time Oakland Residents

42% of unhoused residents are women

78% of unhoused residents are elders

92% of unhoused residents are physically and/or psychologically disabled

76% of unhoused residents are currently working

92% of unhoused residents have experienced arrest and incarceration for the sole act of being unhoused

100% of unhoused residents lost their belongings in poLice and DPW raids and sweeps

88% of unhoused residents were evicted before they became unhoused due to rent increases and other unjust evictions

45% of unhoused residents struggle with substance use and have no access to treatment

89% of unhoused residents lost stable jobs before they became unhoused

96% of unhoused residents want liberated Ohlone land (OakLAND) to build their own visions of Homefulness

Unhoused residents lost belongings in police raids, "sweeps" and landlord, storage facility seizures totalling $173,500.00


RoofLESS Radio Unhoused Writers/Reporters/Poverty Skolaz Her-stories & Histories Excerpt Pt 1:


  1. SCOOP -  My worst crisis in my life was when I was a child I used to witness my alcoholic father beating my mom 

      `2.  P -  My mom use to have a problem with drugs.  She has a good job, but has a lot of stuff to deal with.  She helped me while being homeless.  Also had a lot of my stuff.


  1. ANTHONY - I’ve been struggling with homelessness for almost 3 months.  When I came out of my program, I was standing on the street could hardly feed myself. 
  2. DREA – Well I’m going through a lot of shit and not to put  the blame on anyone else and not to really mention a lot of other shit in having to deal with and accept all  cost or even all situations that comes right on forward myself
  3. TYOWON – I started using drugs because I fault myself 4 my twins death it numbs the pain.  I wish that I wouldn’t have started the path I took.  I use two rob people and started going downhill.  I’ve been using heroin over 20 years. 
  4. RAYZTLR  – As of today  ed 18,19, 06 I remember when my life was beautiful and I went to school by myself and  the monster got me.  From that day on my life was changed.  And that monster name is cocaine; I got pregnant and left my child at home.  I stole from family took from kids and I could not stop the monster.
  5. WARDELL  – In the last year and half I lost my job, I lost everything...  I had an experience where I was standing in line and it was a man that had hatred for homeless people that he started  throwing the food on everyone and this is the type of attitude that I have encountered from a lot of people that I have meet. 
  6. MICHEAL  – My name is Michael Jones I became homeless when the day my mom died the next day I went to jail when I got out I had no where to go.  It’s been hard out here it’s been a long time since I had some place where I could stay.  I lost my kids.
  7. JUN  – I going to tell you about my growing up in life s lee Bowie.  My mother was a pill head.  She all the time go to the house as well and drink and started throwing things at me. 
  8. HAROLD – My name is Harold Monton and I became homeless going through a divorce.  I was trying so badly for myself.  I began using drugs and not feeling like I was not worth very much. And now here I am.
  9. FREDERICK  – My worst time ever was when I lost my mom, she was the best friend ever.  It felt like, I did not want to live any more, so what next drugs.   And that’s my story. 
  10. BEANENARD  – I say two years ago when I was with a friend I got in to a wreck we both was injured but we made it.  God was with us
  11. BRETT – Right now today, I am homeless and hungry with no place to go. 
  12. LARRY – My name is Larry , I’m 63 years old and was working in Fresno, ca.  Married for 4 years.  I was working at tabla mountain casino valet parking.  I was loving the work.  I was doing well when it was time for me to get off work.  I got in my car and drove off and stopped at a store to get cigarettes, where the store was being robbed.  I was shot lost my eye and job.  Because it landed me in the hospital for months, I could not pay rent where I lived. After I was released from the hospital and trying to apply for work job after job; I filled out application, after application with no luck.  My wife could not work.  She got tired of be being turned down.  I was so depressed I left there and ended up here in Oakland where I am now
  13. Winston I became homeless due to joblessness!  City policy and laws about homelessness suck because you are homeless you lose your job you have to survive and end up doing something stupid.  We need to get together to give low income housing.  I like public free radio because it gives truth and does good, the TV is too dangerous.


  14. Pya  – I want my own land.  Where children are welcome and no drugs are around.  A place to grow food and fish.  I think the US GOVERNMENT is unrealistic.  There are enough homes for people…. Soooo if you don’t want us in abandon buildings then give us empty land space.  Or else we will continue to have this problem here.  I would make unclaimed space illegal and I would put together a taskforce to find and maintain space that was unclaimed and or abandoned.    This is the new American occupation we are going to occupy our country.  This is the home of the Brave and the land of the Free sooo.  The land should be Free and The People Brave!!


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