Consider The Homeless!

"Consider The Homeless!" is a seed, an idea, a vision, a hope...


We hope this website will serve as a personal introduction to some of our neighbors on the streets, as well as some fabulous volunteers and their stories. Thank you for doing all you can to “Consider The Homeless!!

Remembering Barbara Brust

Consider The Homeless! lost our leader and co-founder, Barbara Brust, on February 25th, 2021. In memory of her spirit and dedication to the unhoused in Berkeley, we will continue the work that she started. Please feel free to visit her personal Facebook page to view the full recording of her memorial gathering on March 16, 2021.

Original Statement from Barbara Brust
Founder, Consider The Homeless!

"For many of us in today's economy, there is little padding between our lives as they are, and our lives, as they could be. I am no exception. I live on the edge, month to month, and I am never quite sure how it will turn out. It has become impossible for me to walk down the street without seeing so many of my sisters and brothers in need. I feel compelled to help where I can."

How serious is the problem of homelessness in the City of Berkeley?

A recent study estimated in 2017 estimated there were close to 1500 homeless men and women in Berkeley, less than 300 are sheltered. When compared to a similar count made in 2015 it was found that the City of Berkeley’s unsheltered homeless population had grown by at least 50%.

These numbers support our own observations that the homeless population in Berkeley has been growing larger. Why? Here are some stark economic truths for people trying to live in our fair city:

  1. Over 20% of Berkeley’s 122,000+ residents live below the poverty line and if they lose their housing for any reason and they have no family nearby to help …they will most likely end up on the streets.
  2. Rent for a Berkeley studio can start at $2,500 and the average median rent for all apartments and homes is over $3,500.
  3. In Alameda County a family with two parents and two children needs a combined required income of close to $90,000 to pay for basic living costs.
  4. The minimum wage in Berkeley is $15 per hour.

So even if you have a job the cost of housing in Berkeley and most of the Bay Area is out of reach for most of the working poor with or without subsidies and/or some sort of financial assistance. We personally know people living on the streets who are attending college full time and others who have two jobs yet they are unable to find housing that they can afford.

Only a radical change in public policy and budget priorities at the local, state and federal level can produce more affordable housing. We may not be able to shift attitudes much in Washington DC and Sacramento but we can certainly make our voices heard loud and clear here in the City of Berkeley.

"We can continue to do a better job of moving homeless people back into permanent housing but to make a meaningful impact we need to address the housing affordability crisis in Alameda County."
  -- Elaine de Coligny,
      Executive Director of EveryOne Home

If you are a Berkeley resident and want to make a difference contact your Mayor and the City Council and stay abreast of measures currently being discussed to increase affordable housing and to those that could help the homeless:
    •   Berkeley City Council - Member Roster
    •   Berkeley City Council Meeting Schedule
    •   Berkeley City Council Meeting Agenda
    •   Berkeley Housing Advisory Commission
    •   Berkeley Homeless Commission Task Force

City Council meetings are now being held in the School District Board Room at 1231 Addison St. (ADA Accessible Entrance)
Meetings are also broadcast live (and archived) in the Council meetings section of Berkeley's website.

The Challenges for the Homeless Continue to Grow

We believe we can change this. We cannot just ignore our brothers and sisters on the street. Join us in developing another way!

Read our “How can you help?” section


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