Gift of Home: Oakland Mayor Launches Campaign to Help the Homeless

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is taking an out-of-the-box approach to help the homeless.

The mayor has launched a new campaign calling for others to open up their homes. She has rolled out a website aimed at partnering landlords with people transitioning form homeless programs to independent living. Schaaf's goal is to have 100 rooms in the next year.

"We need all hands on deck," Schaaf said. "My message is for landlords, please consider giving the gift of home."

Schaaf was inspired by Miriam Martin, a landlord who has opened her doors to three people either on the brink or making their way out of homelessness. Martin rents out a spare room and two in-law units at an affordable price.

"I feel wonderful," Martin said. "It makes me feel warm inside to be able to help three people because they need a second chance at life."

Ron Smith, 79, is one of the people who now have a roof over his head thanks to Martin's generosity. He rents out a room in her small home.

"I feel very lucky to have her in my life," Smith said of Martin. "She has helped me in so many ways."

For more information, visit GiftofHomeOakland.org.

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