Our Mission

Empowering lives one step at a time.

The United Haven Team

Addressing the Global and Local Crisis of Homelessness

The Issue

Homelessness is a pervasive issue affecting countless individuals worldwide, and Oakland, California is no exception. The city faces a multifaceted challenge characterized by a scarcity of affordable housing, limited access to support services, and an ever-growing population of individuals experiencing homelessness. According to a one-night street count released in July 2019, Oakland has seen a 47 percent jump in homelessness — one of the largest surges of any California city. The count showed Oakland had 4,071 homeless people in 2019, up from 2,761 in 2017.

Oakland, CA

In Oakland, the escalating cost of housing has considerably outpaced income growth, resulting in a housing affordability crisis. According to an annual progress report released last week, Oakland has blown past the market-rate construction targets, issuing permits for 13,616 units, but it’s only issued permits for 22% of the affordable housing it’s required to plan for. The city is dismally behind in meeting its affordable housing goals, a trend exacerbated by an overall slowing of housing construction that began before, but was aggravated by, the COVID-19 pandemic 1.

Systemic Barriers

Inadequate healthcare resources and mental health services leave vulnerable individuals without essential support. Preventive services for people experiencing homelessness, including mental health, substance use, medical care, and social supports, are critical for mitigating risks of SUDs and mental disorders and improving health outcomes. Community-based mental health services play an important role in addressing homelessness. Homelessness could be drastically reduced if people with severe mental illness were able to access supportive housing as well as other necessary community supports.