During the upheaval of the last 6 months – with the pandemic and fires making the ongoing housing crisis more complex – BACS has persevered and continues to be ‘on the ground’, doing whatever it takes:
- All of our residential programs, community intensive programs, and houses have stayed open 24/7;
- In the first three months of the pandemic, BACS kept 695 families in their housing through Keep Oakland Housed;
- BACS — operating two sites and serving 600+ people — joined Project Room Key, the state-wide initiative to provide a safe place for unhoused community members to shelter-in-place.
And today, we get to share spectacular news: BACS has been awarded $10 million to buy single-family homes in Oakland, to create permanent housing for community members with complex needs who are experiencing homelessness through Project Home Key!
BACS CEO Jamie Almanza says, “This model is a game-changer for how our community will solve homelessness. It is innovative, simple, and cost-efficient. And at the heart of this model is that it takes a stand at fighting gentrification – at reclaiming our communities. BACS, as a non-profit, holds assets in the community trust, for the people. These homes – and the individuals that hold the keys – are for the community, of the community, and in the community. I am so proud to live in a State and a community where the public leaders see the strength of this model, as it is unique and could have easily been passed over. Thank you for your leadership.”
The Program Model
BACS buys homes across the Bay Area where the entirety of a six-bedroom house costs less than ONE newly built affordable housing studio, and are ready to move people in within 30 days – not the 10 years it takes to construct new housing due to bureaucratic and neighborhood issues.
Residents are people who would otherwise be homeless due to mental health complications and other barriers. Rather than living on the streets or being institutionalized, which is harmful for the individual and our community, participants get to live safely and healthily in the community of their choice.
The longest-standing resident in this model has lived in a BACS housing co-op for over 30 years!
Every year, BACS “supported independent living” housing co-ops keep hundreds people off the streets, with ongoing mental health services included. Learn more about our housing co-ops on our website.
We want to thank every single person who supported our application, and the community for supporting this transformative approach to ending homelessness.
We thank Governor Gavin Newsom, who has now visited two BACS housing programs, for his initiative and leadership – Governor Newsom’s commitment will help thousands of community members escape homelessness.
Finally, we are so thankful to the City of Oakland, the Oakland City Council, Mayor Libby Schaaf, and Oakland Housing and Community Development Department leadership for partnering with BACS by sponsoring our application, and working tirelessly to communicate the vision and make this possible.