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Oakland’s “Miracle Village” Under the 880 Freeway

Made out of foraged materials, “Cob on Wood” village provides amenities for the Wood Street unhoused encampment.
By - posted 5/13/2021 No Comment

Thanks to The Guardian for letting us know about the new artist-built community built under the 880 freeway overpass in West Oakland.

The “Cob on Wood” community broke ground in December to provide amenities for the nearby homeless encampment, one of the largest in the city. Made out of foraged materials, the tiny structures look straight out of a fairytale.

There’s hot showers, a composting toilet, a health clinic, a fully stocked kitchen, vegetable gardens, a free “store” with clothes and books, and even an outdoor pizza oven.

Innovation for Artists Building Communities is one of the organizations that helped build the center in addition to help from local advocacy arts and food groups who teamed up with Miguel “Migz” Elliott, an expert in the construction of cob structures.

The cob structures are constructed using an ancient technique, built from organic materials like straw, sand, subsoil and water. Volunteers and residents teamed up to construct the buildings by hand. Then, they were topped off with a “living roof” that not only acts as insulation, but is also a garden.

The Cob on Wood “Miracle Village” will also host events for the community such as skill-shares, career development, plus nutrition and cooking classes.

The community has plans to improve the village such as building a gray water system to recycle water, so they can add a washer and dryer. If you’d like to contribute, you can donate to the Cob on Wood: Community Support Structure’s GoFundMe. Plus, the Innovation for Artists Building Communities also have a GoFundMe to Help Build Emergency Homes for Oakland’s Unhoused.

Read more about the project at: The Guardian.