Since its launch, Keep Oakland Housed (KOH) has prevented more than 7,200 households from experiencing homelessness and displacement. It has distributed over $40 million in financial assistance and was a vital part of Oakland’s COVID response effort, which staved off an otherwise “catastrophic increase” in homelessness. In June 2022, KOH was awarded the HUD’s Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships. Initially designed as a three-year pilot, Keep Oakland Housed continues its work to keep Oaklanders housed as a standalone program.
Looking to the future and hoping to capture key learnings from Keep Oakland Housed’s journey, Kaiser Permanente and SFF commissioned Social Policy Research Associates (SPR) to conduct a third-party evaluation of KOH’s first three years (July 2018 – Oct. 2021). The purpose of the evaluation was to:
- Surface learnings around KOH’s scalability and replicability, including progress toward KOH’s intended outcomes and impact and lessons learned in SFF’s role as program administrator for the pilot.
- Support the collection of consistent and meaningful data through technical assistance to service
- Inform the ongoing improvement of KOH through findings related to program implementation and outcomes.
Key Highlights from the Evaluation
The KOH model and approach evolved significantly over these three years based on community feedback, findings related to program implementation and gaps in the wider service ecosystem, the COVID-19 pandemic, and funding opportunities. This adaptability highlights one of KOH’s core strengths in being responsive to changing conditions and community needs.
- KOH must serve populations along a spectrum of housing insecurity challenges – from those “at the front door of homelessness” to leaseholders seeking to avoid eviction.
- Pairing emergency financial assistance with legal services was necessary to help ensure that clients stayed housed after legal matters concluded.
- Culturally and linguistically appropriate service provision and neighborhood-level outreach are core to effective service delivery. This includes partnerships with community-based organizations rooted in cultural and linguistic responsiveness and translation services.
To learn more details about Keep Oakland Housed’s journey, read and share the final evaluation reports:
- Executive Summary – Captures high-level findings and summaries
- Volume 1 – Implementation – Focuses on KOH’s journey, pivots, and community partnerships
- Volume 2 – Outcomes – Details the extent to which KOH met its initial goals
- Appendices – Offers a deeper dive into data and supporting documents referenced in the report
Snapshot of Key Outcomes from KOH’s Pilot Phase (July 2018 - October 2021)
- KOH served 5,944 households. KOH’s original goal was to serve 7,200 by the end of Year 3. An estimated 15,454 individuals live in the 5,944 households served by KOH, indicating that KOH met and exceeded its goal for the numbers served.
- KOH exceeded its goals for both the number of legal services clients and the effectiveness of those services. 2,078 clients received legal services, nearly two times its original goal. 99% of all KOH clients with resolved eviction defense cases had successful outcomes, which exceeds the original goal of an 85% success rate.
- Preliminary data shows that KOH exceeded its goal of keeping clients housed. 82% of KOH clients that responded to the texting follow-up were housed. KOH’s initial goal was to prevent 80% of the individuals and families it serves from entering homelessness.
 According to US Census data (2016-2020), Oakland averages 2.6 individuals per household.
 For more details on the texting data, see the Appendices, Appendix C.
For any questions or to learn more about supporting the program, please reach out to KOH’s Executive Director Logan McDonnell at lmcdonnell[at]bayareacs.org. Contact Nora Daly at ndaly[at]bayareacs.org for media inquiries.