Oakland Tent City Homeless Encampment in VR180

(rhythmic keyboard music) – Welcome, everybody, to the 77th Avenue Rangers micro-community here in Oakland, California. We are the only city-sanctioned, self-governed tent encampment in Oakland. What makes a city-sanctioned
camp different than a shelter or a non-sanctioned community is that we have structure. We have representatives that
speak for us to the city. I help organize the folks here, I am the community relations officer, so I talk with a lot of people. (mellow digital music) I used to work for the United
States Department of Defense. In 2007, I was forced into retirement due to some medical issues. February of 2008, my
financial institution, which held all my money, my retirement, filed for bankruptcy. Overnight, I lost over
three million dollars. Made it back here to
San Francisco Bay area, lived with my dad until he fell ill with colon rectal cancer. The court took his home to
pay for all of his medical after he had passed on
a year and a half later, and that’s when I became homeless. I was taking a more aggressive approach to cleaning up the area
and helping everybody. After a couple of years, the city sent some
administrators down here, had a talk with me, told me that they liked what I was doing, that they would give
me a city-sanctioning. We were just a loose group of individuals who were all concerned
for each other’s safety, and watching out for one another, and we continue that today. A majority of the folks that live in the Rangers
micro-community, we work, and we have a lot of workers, so we have a wide variety. We have grandmothers here,
we have young couples here, so we fit the full gamut of the life outside of this community. It’s the same life
that’s in your community. – My name is Kymberli Wilson,
and this is where I live. I live with my husband, wanna come in? Let’s go. This is our cooking area, storage area. We have a shed, we keep
our clothes and tools and stuff in there. The big burner for heat and cooking. Well, we were livin’ in my father’s house, and my father passed away. A couple of years later, we were evicted, and that’s how we ended up out here. It’s 1,100, $1,200 for a studio. That’s pretty much why we’re here. Rent is too high. – One of the side benefits
of being a city-sanctioned, self-governed encampment is
that the city provides us with porta-potties and
a hand-washing station. That minimizes the waste
that goes into the streets, down the sewers, and helps
keep everybody a lot cleaner, and healthier by properly
disposing of human waste. Another benefit that we have is that we get organizations
and churches close by that bring us fresh food and fresh vegetables on a regular basis. Not all camps have this available to them. This is a great benefit
for most here in the camp, especially when you don’t have an income. You have guaranteed,
warm, fresh, hot food. Well, this is our shower
that we’ve created here, the only shower in a homeless
community in Oakland, and how it works, we have
our little power pack here, there’s a battery inside. There’s a pump and a filter, and so we have the water pickup, picks up water from
the five gallon bucket, we have a switch, so makes a big difference. People can clean, they can
actually not be embarrassed about how they look, how they smell, and they have dignity when
they go outside of this camp, and they look like a normal person, rather than a homeless person. (rhythmic digital music) Connie’s position here is
our compliance officer, our community compliance officer, so she goes up and down the street to make sure that everybody’s
stayin’ within a certain area of the curb, and the city is
happy that we’re self-governed, and that we take care of the things, and the police don’t have
to, nor does the city. – Everyone out here, we do our part to take care of our block. This is our block, this is what we have. It’s all we have, and I’m
so sure no one is here just because they wanna be. There’s no other opportunity,
there’s nowhere else to go. Homelessness is a job. Just like you clock in on a nine-to-five, it’s a job to be homeless. – In 2022, I plan on running
for the City of Oakland mayor, and I’ve put forth a lot
of new, creative ideas to end homelessness here in Oakland. We need to have the cities
understand that stability is at the heart of homelessness. The City of Oakland, the City Council actually saw that article
from “Invisible People”, and learned more about our camp, and they were so concerned with our camp that they went out and got us a brand new housing coordinator, where we’ve had several folks
with various forms of cancer, and serious illnesses, and we
were able to get ’em housed through just Will, and
the City of Oakland, through this new cooperation. – Every day, it’s like the big
hole gets bigger and bigger, and more and more of us
are falling in it, and why? Because we can’t afford a place to live. Somewhere, some door
has to open to help us. We’re not helpless out here. Give us a house, give us a warehouse, give us the materials. I guarantee you that
there’s enough men out here, some of the women, with the
skills to bring it up to code so that it can be habitable. (gentle keyboard music) It’s not a lot, it’s not a lot. (gentle keyboard music) – [Derrick] If you’re
in the United States, you can go to InvisiblePeople.tv, click on Get Involved,
where you can email, Facebook, Tweet, or call your legislators, and demand that they make
ending homelessness a priority.

57 thoughts on “Oakland Tent City Homeless Encampment in VR180”

  1. Amazing that someone could have 3 million in goverment retirement, investments, have it wiped out and no one is responsible to pay it back.

  2. Derrick first off I want to say I'm sorry that you had to go through all this. You guys live in one of the most powerful nations but in a way your system SUCKS and I also mean the situation with your father. To have his home taken away for medical bills. As a Canadian we never would have gone through something like that. We have free medical care and the system works. But also to see the amount of homeless is appalling but it's the same in Canada. It shouldn't happen in either of our countries. I haven't seen the whole video yet but it looks like you guys have a good start on some kind of plan. All the power to you and yours take care and Cheers

  3. You can have 3 million and when they take it away you end up with the rest of us. The rich should pay attention to a video like this and how they treat people right now.

  4. California people pay one of the highest taxes. There is no reason there isn't enough help to help the homeless . Especially when there is more homeless people in California then in any other state. God bless all those that help.

  5. Your voice can help end homelessness. If we do not fix the affordable housing crisis, homelessness will continue to get worse. Click here [https://invisiblepeople.tv/getinvolved] to tweet, email, call, or Facebook your federal and state legislators to tell them ending homelessness and creating more affordable housing is a priority to you.

  6. Mark I really appreciate when you do these videos. It's unfortunate that our politicians here in California turn a blind eye to the homeless issue. We have a burgeoning homeless problem here in Silicon Valley getting close to 40,000 now. The demographics that I've seen at least in the South Bay or 50% with drug or mental issues about 40% are the Working Poor meaning they have jobs but they just can't afford to pay rent anywhere so they sleep in their vehicles in parking lots or wherever they can and the final 10% tend to be elderly on a fixed income which similar to the previous group cannot afford rent anywhere and do not have enough money put together to move somewhere else.

  7. This is horrible to watch … I was homeless 4 ten years wen u live it u don't relize how bad it is finally got another house a mortgage guy helped me combat action wounded twice turned purple heart down was really sick but somehow I got thru it i know how hard it is to get thru this its possible but very hard the system we got now is programmed 2 fail no one cares I found somebody who helped but there's not many people that will I'm watching this I know how bad it is 2 yrs I'm in my house I am so thankfull me n a mortgage guy not God not social worker not va. U got to do it urself

  8. In the richest country in the world, where we let Billionaires and corporations pay no taxes, and capitalism destroys whole communities as it has always done, all over the world.

  9. Looking at this video makes me so damned mad! It shows me that we (society) and our elected and appointed so-called representatives have given normalcy and validity to living on the streets. It has become as legitimate as living indoors in a house or an apartment. This is a damned shame! WE shouldn't allow THEM to "trick" US into believing that tented homeless encampments, no matter HOW deceptively normal they appear to be, are the best and only options available. If society fully accepts this, the city's next step will be to charge the occupants an ever increasing amount of rent for each plot of land occupied by their tents, as if they were housed in an apartment. UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE!

  10. I am still having to fight every day. So I am having to sale most of my belongings. I exist in one of the most expensive cities in the country an existing on disability. Over 40 million people are homeless in America right now. 😖

  11. All this degradation, all this diminution in the standard and quality of life, is due to one immutable fact: The vast majority of people in the world are stupid and wicked.

  12. All government leaders…need to live in tent for at least 6 months,with barely any money…let them go try it and come back and let us know how they got on…I’m sure there’d be more help.
    Instead squirrelling money away for themselves.

  13. That gentleman did everything right, was responsible, and look how he got treated. It would kill some people but here he is helping to give people safety, hygiene, community. A beautiful person.

    Would this be a community where the tiny house ideas would help? She said there: give us the materials, we'll make a warehouse habitable.

    Love to all of them. X

  14. Thanks for the video – but I don't need to have background music when I listen to people's stories – I want to listen to what they have to say without distraction.

  15. I rescue animals from Bad situations where they are not doing well and let me share an unpopular opinion. Homeless people should not be allowed to have animals they are just creating an environment where the animal starves and is malnourished and maltreated the whole time. I don't care how much the homeless person loves their animal they do not deserve their animal they should not have of the animal the animal should be taken away and put somewhere where it can have a good life and be healthy and well taken care of and properly fed. If you are really that mad at me after reading all of that just think about it this way do the animals really deserve to be drug into the same type of lifestyle that the homeless person has chosen to live or do they deserve their own lives and their own futures? these poor puppies didn't get addicted to drugs and fired from their job and made all their family hate them until they had nowhere to go it's not their fault they shouldn't have to starve because someone else made life mistakes.

  16. What about taking up a building collection where the homeless donates to it from doing odd jobs or just from money they've gotten from pan handling and asking the city to match whatever they collect and buy a building then convert it ?

  17. Hmm…Good news from USA..thank so much for sharing this a video….I am waiting your next a video. Californiaaaaa..Homeless.

  18. You left $3000000 why would you put all your money in one basket and allow other people to take care of it for you… that's your fault that's why you're homeless then.. it's your fault … you shouldn't have put all your money in one basket I don't do that..

  19. I can feel sorry for you for losing that money that was bad Management on your part you don't put all your eggs in one basket…. and on top of that trust someone else with your life savings hell no…

  20. There's plenty of land they can build on the government can give them materials and build their own tiny houses it can be done.. the government officials that just talking crap talkin talkin talkin about trying to stop homelessness they're not doing nothing about it we got this planet land everywhere there's is land… and like I said before if they really want to build housing for homeless people that usually can the money is there they just don't do it because it's not profitable to do it for poor people…

  21. Someone should really do a comparitive analysis of California and more rural and suburban places in terms of evictions. I suspect in the worse part of California they aren't near as aggressive towards the homeless as somewhere like NC

  22. This camp you guys created is amazing, really!!! I noticed you used the term "dignity" as "so these people can walk into society having some dignity." As a species, I think that this illustrates such a sadness about human culture. The manner in which I interpret this is that, by human culture, you have to dress, behavior and speak within the accepted ways which human culture believes gives a person "worth" & "acceptance." Shamefully many are unable to accept and give people value FOR JUST BEING YOU! This behavior shows that 95% or so do not see this. Hence, as evolved and as intelligent as we believe we are, a life form is NOT EVOLVING if they are unable to see this simple idea. And, it doesn't take great intelligence to do this. Animals do this instinctually and are unable to create what humans can by using our "higher level" of ability to think. Perhaps we can learn from the animals. But, in order to do this, one must be willing to accept & adopt this belief system. This is where most of humanity falters.
    I and truly sorry for yours and the other lady speaking loss of your fathers' whom you both spoke of as no one deserves this no matter how they have lived their lives'. May G-d continue to bless your amazing community!!!!
    -jeffrey taylor

  23. I was wondering if you have done any videos of the homeless in new hampshire. Be good to find where they to try to help them.

  24. I’m still trying to figure out why California is so opposed to tiny homes. They sell them at Lowe’s and Home Depot and it’s way better than living on the streets.
    Is there a possible way to ask local lumber yards for scrap materials to build up a few little homes?

  25. Something sounds strange about Derrick's story. How did he end up with $3m working for the government? What financial institution went bankrupt…? If he had $3m, why was it all in a bank account (where FDIC is limited to only $250k) instead of invested in brokerage accounts (where it's more protected)?

  26. Good video.
    That camera is cool, what type of camera are you using?
    Is it me or you can move this video around along with transitioning of the sound.
    Informative video, glad they have a place to call their own, hopefully they can get housed.?

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