The Christian Science Monitor

Oakland’s plan to battle homelessness: Stop it before it starts

The tears began falling before Debra Ross finished reading the eviction notice. She had arrived home on a June afternoon to find the piece of paper taped to the door of her apartment in Oakland, Calif., where she lives with one of her 20 grandchildren.

Ms. Ross owed $785 in back rent on her subsidized unit on the city’s east side. She and her teenage grandson survive on the $770 she receives from the state as his legal guardian, and the notice placed them in jeopardy of homelessness. She pleaded for time from the property manager, who agreed to let her defer payment until the fall. But with Ross still short on money as the Oct. 31 deadline neared, a final eviction notice appeared on her door.

With only three days to spare, while reading a friend’s Facebook page, she learned about a program called Keep Oakland Housed that had launched

‘For anyone in need’‘The place I know’

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