Consider The Homeless!

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

Welcome to our new Home Page!

We at Consider The Homeless! are excited about our new name and several events we are planning in the near future. You can read about them below, and in our What’s New? page.

We are taking a new direction with a more personalized site, introducing you to some of our neighbors on the streets, as well as our fabulous volunteers and their stories. As time permits, we will continue this transition in updating our website. Until we are finished, we apologize that you will continue to see some dated material.

Please be patient and bear with us while we make these changes.
We hope the final product will urge more people to “Consider The Homeless!


is now actively registering the homeless to vote

November 8 is the Presidential Election. There is much at stake at the federal, state and local levels. This will be YOUR chance to help shape our future. Don’t waste it!

For more news on Consider The Homeless!
see our What’s New? Page

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 that on January 28, 2015 there were 834 homeless men and women in Berkeley, 266 sheltered people and 568 unsheltered people. When compared to a similar count made in 2009 it was found that the City of Berkeley’s unsheltered homeless population had grown by 53%.

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. 18.7% of Berkeley’s 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 for a single parent with two children the wage required to pay for basic living costs is $30.46 per hour—for a two-parent family with 3 children it is $32.74.
  4. The minimum wage in Berkeley is $11 per hour (to increase to $12.53 per hour later this year) and a new state law will increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2021.

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 school full time and others who have 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 City Councilor 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



What’s in a Name?
A lot apparently, and there are people in the community who saw our former name Homeless Lives Matter Berkeley as co-opting the name of Black Lives Matter. We do not and did not want to dilute or distract in anyway from the important work of Black Lives Matter and with that in mind we have changed our name to Consider The Homeless!

We are very happy with our new name, which is both an imperative and a suggestion that we respect and contemplate the homeless. We hope that you like it as well.

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