There is ample evidence that an organization like BAMC is needed in Oakland. According to Data USA and the US Census Bureau, Oakland has a population of about 429,000 people. Welfare Info Organization and Data USA reported that 18.7% of Oakland’s population live in poverty, which is higher than California’s poverty average of 15.1%, and the national average of 13.1%. This means that 1 out of 5 residents live in poverty in Oakland. With regards to poverty by race, African Americans or Blacks have the highest poverty rates. The Alameda County department of Public Health reported in their 2013 publication that statistically 1 in 15 whites live in high poverty neighborhoods. With regards to minority residents, 1 in 9 Asians, 1 in 4 Latinos, and 1 in 3 Blacks live in high poverty neighborhoods. Studies show that residents in high poverty neighborhoods are twice as likely to lack access to employment, 4 times more likely to not have a high school diploma, and 8 times more likely to experience higher rates of homicide. Oakland is clearly in dire need of programs ready to tackle poverty, especially for people of color, and the WHAT IS YOUR NICHE BAY AREA MEGA CENTER is ready to do just that.
In Alameda County, 1 in 6 children live in poverty with the majority of whom being children of color, specifically Black children. Kids Data reported that 36.1% of Black children live in poverty in Alameda county followed by Latino children with 22.8%. The numbers for White and Asian children living in poverty are 8.4% and 7.1% respectively.
Homelessness is a huge issue in not only Oakland, but in California at-large. In 2017, California had the highest number of chronically homeless individuals in the nation followed by New York, and Florida. California’s homeless population consisted of 35,798 people, whereas New York had 5,087 and Florida had 4,915 homeless residents. Homelessness in Oakland has grown 47% in the past couple of years. Oakland currently has 4,071 people that are homeless. Although there are numerous programs and resources in the Bay Area to support the homeless as well as those in need, these numbers show that whatever has been done thus far to address some of the most prominent social issues of Oakland is not enough. Oakland needs a mega center to join the fight against poverty.