Marc Schechter aka Pizzaman contacted the Spirit of Oakland to help bring his delicious pizza to encampment residents. Marc is from the East Coast and although he may be seen as an outsider, he didn’t let that stop him.
The encampment we served is one we’ve worked with earlier this year in an event called “Walk a Mile” where unhoused residents took to the stage to inform the audience about the true nature and scope of the housing crisis but also ways they can get involved, safely and without being offensive. We brought those teachings, along with some empathetic listening and harm reduction strategies to empower volunteer that day to help and not harm.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing Leilani Farha inspected the same encampment and witnessed conditions of ” systemic cruelty”. Coincidentally there was a fire at the encampment early this morning. City officials, activists are convening at noon today at City Hall to, again discuss more solutions.
While politicians are powerful in their ability to make large scale changes, Individual residents are powerful in making a stronger and more meaningful local impact.
Demonstrating the belief that all people are equal by serving our most marginalized and in need of residents is huge. Most people just talk and that does not create the change that action does.
There are ways you can impact your community – we will help.
- Volunteer, showing peers that your time is valuable and you still donated it to the less fortunate is huge.
- Bring awareness to issues un-housed residents face.
- Understand and share the fact that anyone can become homeless – There are many causes like illness/accident, death of support system, or loss of employment.
- Donate used ( in good shape) items, your extra tent can mean a teenager has a place to sleep.
- Donate money to drives that deliver on their promise to provide needed supplies to encampments.
There are many ways a person can safely get involved, show solidarity and create a positive impact in Oakland.
Thank you to all the volunteers, Homeless Action Center, Sol the massage therapist and Marc Schechter for his vision, support, and determination.
” We don’t talk about it, we be about it”