Homelessness and the Opportunity Center of Palo Alto


by : 
Ellie W.


Due to a myriad of factors, there exists a major and growing issue with the cost of housing in the Bay Area and the places people can go if they cannot afford rent. Palo Alto is no exception, with rampant NIMBYism and homelessness being a prevalent problem that too often is dismissed. There are many volunteer and nonprofit opportunities within Palo Alto, but this project focuses on the Opportunity Center, a walk-in clinic next to Town and Country with a wide range of services and ways to connect with case managers to find housing. This project was cut short due to the Coronavirus, but aims to bring awareness to the Center and the need for reform surrounding the issue of homelessness.

Personal Statement

After taking a trip to Portland, Oregon with a teen group from my synagogue to help out at an independent homeless community called Hazelnut Grove, I've had an interest in the issue of homelessness and alternative ways people come together in communities to find unique solutions. This led to my taking notice of the Opportunity Center, and wanting to raise awareness about the unseen and unthought-of conversation about homelessness in my own community.