Kaiser teams up with Oakland agencies to find permanent homeless housing

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Kaiser Permanente, Operation Dignity and the City of Oakland have launched a project to help dozens of homeless people living in tents in Mosswood Park, located in the shadow of Kaiser's Oakland location.

Christine "Lulu" Ehberhard, who moved to the Bay Area 20 years ago, is one of those living in the tents. She came here from Hamburg, Germany, to join the love of her life in a printing business.

But five and a half years ago, she fell down a flight of stairs, breaking her collarbone and shoulder blade. She was no longer able to work, and ended up being evicted. That's when she began to live in Mosswood Park.

"No human being should be in that position ever" she said.

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Last November, Kaiser offered $1 million to fund a project to help Lulu and others with Operation Dignity doing the legwork.

"We've been working through Kaiser and the city of Oakland to help them get into some kind of transitional situation," said Marguerite Bachand, Executive Director of Operation Dignity.

The money will cover temporary housing, food and essentials until permanent housing is found.

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Lulu has mixed emotions. She's happy to be in a motel and in a safer situation. "It's dangerous, for a woman, it's dangerous. It's difficult to survive," she said. But after living outside for over five years, a return to living indoors is not as easy as one might think.

"Suddenly I got a roof and I'm waking up in the middle of the night and saying 'where are the stars?" she said. But, Lulu is looking forward to getting her own place and cooking meals in her very own kitchen.

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