OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – People struggling with homelessness have a new home in Oakland. 

Funds from the state’s “Project Homekey” have helped turn a former college dorm for art students into permanent housing for families and seniors.

To protect people struggling with homelessness throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Clifton Hall in Rockridge is now affordable housing for unhoused seniors and families.

The effort was made possible through funding from Project Homekey, a program designed to help unsheltered people who are at risk of serious illnesses such as COVID-19. 

“This is one very important example of a solution,” Dan Kalb said.

Oakland City Councilmember Dan Kalb says there’s still lots of work to be done in helping the unhoused in the city and his district but taking over Clifton Hall is a good start.

“Clearly our city has a need for additional affordable housing. I think that’s a given. I think we all know that,” Kalb said.

Most of the residents at Clifton Hall will be seniors with permanent housing but for families, this space will more be transitional–allowing for some stability to move forward.

There was some skepticism as to whether this would come to fruition before the new year but more than 100 people began moving in on Monday.

Alameda County has last reported ICU bed availability at just over 32%. 

The Clifton Hall housing may help in keeping that number from getting any lower as the most vulnerable are taken off of the streets.

“It’s the epitome of it takes a village,” Sara Bedford, Oakland Human Services Director, said.

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