By POOR Magazine Youth PovertSkola reporter Amir Cornish
On Wednesday on May 3rd, the encampment on Wood Street was getting demolished by construction bulldozers running over the homes of the community that was built by houseless people to house themselves. I watched this big, yellow, dragon-like bulldozer with its huge mouth blade slowly lifting one of the Wood Street homes that was built out of love for that person.
When all POOR Magazine family arrived at Wood Street, we saw that there were multiple cops just standing around and behind them there was a huge gate covering the front entrance of Wood Street, not letting anybody enter. "We proved that we can survive under duress, through all of these conditions and harassment. We are survivors and we are ready to move to the next level," said John Janosko, longtime resident organizer of Wood Street Commons.
Wood Street is a wonderful place that John and some other members created for themselves and others to feel safe, also be to a loving community. The City of Oakland never supported them, and they should have. As houseless people, just like us houseless peoples at Homefulness, they know what they need and they created it. "We still communicate even when they scatter us around and put us in different locations, but the love ties that were built here can not be cut by cops, bulldozers. Those things will live on and we will rebuild what we started whenever we can and wherever we go, but that one thing they can’t arrest,’’ said Jazz, another longtime resident organizer. I am Amir Cornish Youth Poverty Skola. I'm from West Oakland. It's hard for a person to have a home. I remember being homeless, worried about the next meal to fill my belly. I remembered moving across different families' homes spending the night at theirs. Being homeless is not easy for youth and elders. My Mom has always found a way to keep me and brothers fed and a roof overhead. Being homeless is not a good feeling, to have to sleep outside for not paying the rent on time, or somebody taking your home without you knowing. Homelessness is a real thing and people have struggled on the street everyday trying to strive on living.
Homefulness and POOR Magazine will be standing with Wood Street Commons forever and help them help themselves.
Amir Cornish, Sun of Audrey Candy Corn, is a formerly houseless resident of Homefulness, graduate of the liberation school Deecolonize Academy and Youth in media reporter with POOR Magazine