Chapter 5: Housing Finally

If homelessness is the problem, housing is the solution. But it’s not always that simple. Kate Cody has been living in her encampment community for a long time. And there’s no guarantee she’ll be able to make the transition inside, even with the golden ticket.

“I didn’t think anyone would live in a tent by an interstate if they had another option. But it’s more complicated than that.”

The way homelessness has exploded in California over the last decade, you’d think there was no system in place to address it. But there is one – it just wasn’t designed to help everyone. According to Need is a documentary podcast in 5 chapters from 99% Invisible that asks: what are we doing to get people into housing?

If you’ve enjoyed this series and were moved by the stories you heard, we’ve compiled a list of Bay Area organizations that you can support.



According to Need was produced by Katie Mingle, with associate producer Abby Madan and managing editor Whitney Henry-Lester. Further invaluable editing from, Roman Mars, Lisa Pollak, Emmett FitzGerald, Delaney Hall, Christopher Johnson and Joe Rosenberg. Sound Engineering by Bryson Barnes. Fact checking by Amy Gaines. Beautiful music by the beautiful Sean Real. Branding and Design by Kurt Kohlstedt was our digital director. Additional support from Sofia Klatzker, Vivian Le and Chris Berube. Special thanks to everyone who was interviewed for this series as well as Andrea Hensen, Andy Wellspring, and Talya Husbands Henkin.

According to Need is a project of 99% Invisible which is distributed by PRX.

  1. Jason Tor

    Is it possible to provide a link to KC’s (Kate Cody) Etsy page so that I can support her through purchasing her jewelry? I searched as best I could but couldn’t find it.

    Katie Mingle – this was an amazing series, it has stimulated a lot of discussion in my home and I am so grateful. Thank you!

  2. Oli

    Katie interviews KC and mentions that she has an Etsy store where she sells beaded bracelets. If KC would be comfortable, could you share the link so we can buy something?

  3. Just Chuck

    Congratulations, Katie and crew, for this fabulous series on homelessness. Whenever media professionals may ‘gather’ in the near future to celebrate quality podcast work, I believe this show should be nominated. You kept it real, kept it individual and personal, while also acknowledging the vast scope of the problem. You were careful not to cast blame; you showed the unintended consequences of policy, and never fell back on name-calling when describing the vast, soulless, yet absolutely necessary bureaucracy that is the System you described.

    Wherever you live, no matter what the System looks like, it works on people’s care and respect for fellow humans. By showing us that the System is full of people like us, you’ve reminded the planet that care and respect is due to everyone. I am so proud of you all! This is some of the best work 99PI has ever done.

  4. I just listen to the According to Need episodes, and recently watch Frontline’s documentary on homelessness as well. These are powerful series but I also think you need the view of the Landlord as well, especially in the current climate of Covid 19 and no evictions. I run a rooming house where mostly low income people live. This population can be very difficult to deal with. I have pulled myself up to be a landlord but could be pulled back down any month with another problem arising.
    Like more people not paying, more repairs, with more people at home the utilities have doubled are just a few examples. There are 2 sides to the story. I would also like to see more on the solutions that are working. I would be very interested in being a part of those.

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