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January 28, 2008

California Shelter Helps the Homeless and the Environment

An Oakland, California homeless shelter—which will provide care for people living with HIV, diabetes and other chronic conditions—will be one of the first “green,” or environmentally conscious, shelters ever built, The New York Times reports (, 1/28).

According to the article, the Crossroads shelter will accommodate 125 residents. The facility will have a solar-paneled roof, hydronic heating, practical ceiling fans, nontoxic paint and furniture fashioned from pressed wheat. The Times reports it will also feature an examination room, a wing for homeless families, an infirmary for those just released from the hospital and a dorm and bathroom solely for transgender residents.

Established by social worker Wendy Jackson, executive director of the East Oakland Community Project, Crossroads aims to provide residents with a healthy environment—while also keeping the environment healthy.

“The homeless care about the environment,” says Michael Stoops, acting executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless. “If they can be part of a facility that is reducing energy costs and saving the planet, homeless folks are all in favor of that, just like most Americans.”

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