Last year, Katie and her girlfriend moved into a new apartment near Berkeley in the north part of Oakland. She was thrilled to find it because it had two bedrooms with a nice big kitchen and a washer and dryer in the unit. All this, and the place was still under $3,000 a month, which, for the area, was actually extremely reasonable. Insane, but true.
As they settled into the new place and started meeting neighbors, it didn’t take long before they realized that some were homeless. There was a guy sleeping in an old Lexus right in front of their house, and another guy who seemed to be living in the cabin of a boat parked just across the street.
So one day, Katie went to say “hi” to the boat guy…
“Far beyond my block, you can see the effects of these economic and demographic shifts. Almost as if a tidal wave of wealth has washed the poor people of the bay area out of their houses, and into the streets.”
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?