Community Cabins: Low Barrier Shelter for Oakland Residents

Oakland has a major challenge with unsheltered homelessness, with an estimated 4,800 people on the streets each night.

At Operation Dignity, we have a unique perspective on the people impacted by this crisis; our street outreach team has worked in the field with Oakland residents who are without shelter since 2001.

To bring more people in from off the streets, Operation Dignity has partnered with the City of Oakland on its Community Cabins program. Through this program, residents of large encampments take shelter in small cabin structures gathered in a single site.

At each site, we help people stabilize from the crisis and stress of living outside. We provide 24/7 personnel, a safe place to stay, storage for resident belongings, blankets, hygiene supplies, hot dinners during the week, clean water, portable toilets, and access to fresh drinking water.

Our on-site Housing Navigators also work with each resident to help them secure housing and improve their lives. We help residents look for employment; access benefits; obtain needed documents (such as ID and proof of income); connect with mental and physical health care; and explore options for transitional and permanent housing.

We opened the first Community Cabins site with the City in December 2017 at 6th and Castro. Since then, we’ve implemented two more sites in West Oakland.

All together, our sites can shelter more than 120 people on a given night.

The City works with two other providers to operate Community Cabins sites elsewhere in Oakland.

We firmly believe that the ultimate solution to homelessness is permanent, affordable housing with the combination of services that meets each resident’s needs.

But while these housing options are unavailable, we are dedicated to working toward interventions that will alleviate the crisis of homelessness and provide people with safe shelter and services where they are.