Yesterday I was at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center. My friend is recovering from surgery there and has a wonderful private room with a view. Looking up one sees sky and hills. Looking down one sees a huge bulldozed area where a new project will soon arise.
Leaving, I exited the multi-level parking lot to face crowded rows of tents.
We know the homeless problem is huge and complex, and because San Francisco and Berkeley have clamped down, the problem is spreading.
I’m shocked though to be reminded of the powerful book Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity by Katherine Boo.
The book contrasts life in the luxury hotels in Mumbai with the people who live right next door, right under high-rise views.
The following comes from an article in the San Francisco Chronicle written by Roland Li and published on June 17, 2019, and I share this with no intention to attack Kaiser which provides excellent care.
Health care giant Kaiser Permanente plans to construct a 1.6 million-square-foot headquarters in Oakland, creating one of the largest new buildings in the Bay Area — larger in space, though not height, than San Francisco’s Salesforce Tower.
The article concludes: Last year, Kaiser committed $200 million to fund affordable housing and mitigate homelessness, including preserving 41 units of affordable housing in East Oakland.
Kaiser also partners with the Golden State Warriors on health and youth sports programs and is sponsoring the plaza around the basketball’s team new arena in Mission Bay.
It is said that “In Zen, We don’t find the answers. We lose the questions.”
I sit with that wondering how we care for All, and how far 41 units goes to handling what I saw yesterday.