Living on the streets of Oakland. The Great Recession may be over, but every night people are sleeping on benches or in makeshift shelters. Here are a few of their stories.

by David Bacon

A homeless woman on a bus bench on Broadway in Oakland, California got a bag of food and a blanket from Vinny Pannizzo, of Mission for the Homeless. Photo: David Bacon

After I went out with Vinny Pannizzo, I began to see things differently. Now, when I drive through downtown Oakland late at night and I see someone sitting in a bus shelter, I wonder if she’ll be sleeping there. On park benches and in doorways, I’ll look for men and women curled up in sleeping bags, using their shoes for a pillow to keep them from being stolen off their feet. Driving down a freeway off-ramp, I’ll notice the tarp strung between bushes or the edge of a tent inside the trees.

  • World Hunger Education
    Service
    P.O. Box 29015
    Washington, D.C. 20017
  • For the past 40 years, since its founding in 1976, the mission of World Hunger Education Service is to undertake programs, including Hunger Notes, that
    • Educate the general public and target groups about the extent and causes of hunger and malnutrition in the United States and the world
    • Advance comprehension which integrates ethical, religious, social, economic, political, and scientific perspectives on the world food problem
    • Facilitate communication and networking among those who are working for solutions
    • Promote individual and collective commitments to sustainable hunger solutions.