9% of $60,000 goal
A PLACE WORTH SAVING!
A Critical Juncture in PLACE’s 12 Year History!
We acknowledge that we reside in Huichin (Oakland), the unceded ancestral homelands of the Ohlone and the Chochenyo Native people. We stand in solidarity with local Indigenous communities who are currently living on these lands today. We are grateful to be guests and stewards of this 10,000 sq ft location in North Oakland, which has been in operation for 12 years.
PLACE needs community support to raise funds for some necessary structural upgrades to become code compliant with the City of Oakland. This work adversely affects our ability to earn income the way we had been accustomed to all of these years. Your help during this 9-12 month process will keep our doors open and support our mission. We recently became our own 501(c)3 charitable organization, which makes your donations tax-deductible. Our goal is to raise $60,000 to comply with a recently required Conditional Use Permit for our community education activities, as well as legalizing our residential use.
WHAT IS PLACE
Since 2011, PLACE has been a hub of learning, healing, creating, connecting, and building community. We offer this space for living systems, maker-spaces, and community resources. This includes everything from hands-on workshops, community organizing, urban agriculture, regenerative systems, movement building, cooking, medicine making, mutual aid distributions, cultural exchange, spiritual gatherings, song circles, ceramics, wellness practices, film screenings, music, and educational events, and many other applications that connect the intersectionality of the rising global movements.
PLACE embraces justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. We honor the diverse backgrounds, paths, and lineages of the many communities that make up PLACE. We also acknowledge that the San Francisco Bay Area is experiencing patterns of housing development and displacement that fuel a racial wealth gap. It is important for the arts, community, and eco-environmental work we hold space for to be grounded in a framework that does not perpetuate white supremacy, settler colonialism, and systemic discrimination, violence, and erasure. In solidarity, PLACE explicitly prioritizes holding community space for groups and individuals that are led by and serve Native, Black, People of Color, local, low-income, immigrant, and LGBTQIA2S+ communities. We believe that it is crucial to collectively uplift the power and voices of frontline community climate “solutionaries” who experience the most direct relationships within extractive and oppressive systems. Ally individuals and organizations are also welcome to use this space as long as their intentions are in alignment with the values and principles named here.
PLACE is also a space for mutual aid. In 2020, when the pandemic came, we joined forces with the North Oakland Restorative Justice Council to deliver hundreds upon thousands of hot meals and hygiene kits to the houseless neighbors of Oakland every 3 weeks since the pandemic. Many other groups, individuals, and volunteers came through to offer support: Self Help Hunger Program, Critical Resistance, The Omni Commons, Essential Food and Medicine, and many neighbors. We also supported St. Columba Catholic Church with food distribution to the elderly on a weekly basis. Our efforts have been further recognized through our annual Commons Festivals, which bring neighbors and friends out into the street to meet each other as they learn practical skills in sustainability and preparedness, and build public projects together in a fun and dynamic environment.
PLACE is also a participating resilient hub assisting the community in preparing for their response to a variety of calamities caused by climate chaos, societal devolution, and economic degradation. Growing food, capturing rainwater, reusing greywater, and mutual aid endeavors are some of the activities we have offered in the past to provide a framework for societal survival. Places like PLACE are such an essential resource for communities now more than ever as we face climate disasters, political instability, and disconnection from one another and the natural world.
MANDATORY UPGRADES and COMPLIANCES
We recently received a Notice of Violations (NOV) from the City of Oakland, mandating us to file a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for our historic and desired uses and a separate permit and subsequent electrical upgrades for our stewards’ residences. During the pandemic, we experienced a dramatic halt to the revenue from all our historic activities such as classes, shared art space memberships, and events. Fortunately, our studio rentals for residential Stewards and some monthly Patreon donations became our primary source of revenue, which allowed PLACE to survive unlike many other community spaces and local businesses that closed down during this period. We did not qualify for any pandemic relief as it was based on paid staff and we are an all-volunteer-run grassroots organization.
NEW OAKLAND LAW FOR “TINY” HOME VILLAGE
After exploring a variety of ways to legalize our residential dwellings, we discovered a new law in Oakland that allows for a significantly more affordable method (1/10th to 1/20th) than traditional structures. This new Vehicular Residential Facility (VRF) law allows for tiny homes and trailers on wheels to be clustered around a central building which features a shared kitchen, dining hall, and bathrooms, and serves as a community hub for the residents of this tiny home village. By engaging this strategy, we would become one of the first organizations to use the new Oakland law for tiny home villages. When we successfully complete this endeavor, we will not only legalize PLACE, but we will also establish protocols and best practices to assist in an array of other non-profits to create more equitable and diverse affordable community-based housing at a fraction of the cost of traditional affordable housing development. Currently, we have 4 converted shipping containers which are not a legal structure in a Residential Zone and will need to be replaced by tiny homes on wheels.
Your support will go a long way in creating a more resilient, equitable, and just world that provides affordable community spaces, educational resources, mutual aid, and more.
Thanks for the love!