KEEP OAKLAND HOUSED ANNOUNCES FIRST EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, October 26th – Keep Oakland Housed launches next phase of homelessness prevention in Oakland by announcing its first Executive Director, Logan McDonnell.
Keep Oakland Housed (KOH) was founded in 2018 as a pilot program to prevent homelessness before it starts. KOH uses a data-based approach with an equity lens to provide targeted emergency financial assistance, legal support, and supportive services.
New Executive Director Logan McDonnell (pictured right) is a long-time housing justice advocate, bringing community organizing, direct homelessness services, and fundraising experience to this new role. At BACS, he oversees operations for multiple homelessness prevention programs as well as many permanent supportive housing efforts in Alameda County. He currently sits on the boards of Success Centers, as well Community Forward SF. He is a mentor in the OK program of Oakland, where they empower black boys to transform their community through mentorship. Logan is a proud graduate of Florida A&M, a historically black college (HBCU) in Tallahassee, FL and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
“Families, black families in particular, that have been in Oakland for generations are being pushed out of town at an alarming rate due to targeted and unprecedented hikes in rent and layers of generational inequity. It shouldn’t be normalized; it should be condemned,” said Logan McDonnell, new Executive Director of Keep Oakland Housed. Homelessness and housing is an equity issue, a health and safety issue, and an issue of our humanity”
Oakland faces a housing affordability, displacement, and homelessness crisis. Between 2011 and 2017, apartment rents increased 70% while household incomes increased only modestly and incomes for Black Oaklanders decreased 7%. This puts tremendous pressure on the community and increases the level of housing insecurity, especially for Oaklanders who are black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and low-income families. In 2018, the California Reinvestment Coalition called Oakland “ground zero for gentrification and displacement in the Bay Area.” The forces have been especially devastating for Oakland’s Black/African American population with Oakland losing 30% of its Black/African American population between 2000-2017.
Developing and implementing a pathbreaking model that specifically prioritizes those most hit hard by these forces and on the verge of homelessness, Keep Oakland Housed has distributed more that $40 million to date using this innovative, targeted model and these impacts have not gone unnoticed. In 2022, The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department Secretary, Marcia Fudge, presented KOH with the “2022 Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships – Housing and Community Development in Action.” The awards recognize the partnership and its impact as a community strategy to increase the quality of life for low- and moderate-income residents across all American geographies – urban, suburban, and rural. KOH was one of only seven awardees in America. Past and current partners include San Francisco Foundation, Crankstart, City of Oakland, Kaiser, All Home and East Bay Community Law Center.
Today, as the pandemic and its protracted impacts are becoming endemic, the Keep Oakland Housed collaborative is again reimagining this next phase of the work to stem the tide of the forces unhousing and displacing Oaklanders. When COVID started, there was an infusion of federal investments that critically prevented homelessness for thousands of people who were suddenly without income. These funds have been spent down, and this is a critical time for the Oakland community to support Keep Oakland Housed ongoing, as inflation impacts the town, potential recession looms, and the cost of living continues to rise. Keep Oakland Housed is a nimble response to Oaklanders who have a lease and are on the verge of losing that stability, and to Oaklanders who do not have a lease and are at the “front door” of homelessness. Keep Oakland Housed is rooted in innovation, and we will innovate to provide a spectrum of homelessness prevention resources, responsive to the needs of the community. To support this critical work please visit keepoaklandhoused.org and click the donate button.
About Bay Area Community Services
Bay Area Community Services (BACS) breaks the mental health, housing, and community barriers that hold people back. BACS’ mission is to uplift under-served individuals and their families by doing “whatever it takes.” BACS helps people experiencing homelessness, housing insecurity, or behavioral health challenges, while balancing other complications like health needs, substance use, generational trauma, incarceration, poverty, and more. Since its founding in 1953, BACS has steadily grown throughout Northern and Central California, integrating nearly seven decades of behavioral health expertise with our Housing First philosophy to meet the rising needs of communities. BACS is the lead agency of the Keep Oakland Housed coalition. To learn more, go to www.bayareacs.org
# # #