Where Do We Go? Berkeley is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed in 2019 by a movement of people experiencing homelessness along the I-80 freeway in Berkeley CA. Following an onslaught of evictions by Cal-Trans and the California Highway Patrol, the residents (working alongside activist Andrea Henson) decided to commit an act of civil disobedience by refusing to leave their homes. A series of marches and protests ensued. Residents asked Henson "Where Do We Go?" and the movement soon became an organization. Despite the evictions people continued to return to the land. Cal-Trans agreed to meet with residents of the Seabreeze encampment to engage in dialogue about a possible "truce". This was unprecedented, Cal-Trans would halt evictions on the condition that the land was kept clean and all safety liabilities were addressed. Since then Where Do We Go? has become involved with all encampments in and around the I-80 corridor.
Andrea Henson and Seabreeze encampment residents march in protest of mass displacement of people living in encampments. Photo by Yesica Prado
A Berkeley police officer enters an RV at 8th and Harrison encampment. The towing of peoples homes is not uncommon in Berkeley. Photo by Yesica Prado
We are an advocacy group but are also engaged in constant outreach and material support. Our goal is to fulfill all needs of the people whether that be supplying tents, clothes, and food, or driving an injured person to the emergency room. Through our cooperation with Cal-Trans we engage in a monthly cleaning of debris from the encampments. We also address other safety concerns such as fire abatement. We have representatives from each of the major encampments on our board of directors to ensure accountability. Through our advocacy we are actively engaged with state leadership, city counsel members, staff, and other government employees to fight for the fair treatment of unhoused people. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit we do not attempt to influence legislature or elections. Through our successes we hope to create permanent change in the system. We hope to end stigma and show the world how wonderful and caring the people living in these encampments are.
Board of directors
Andrea Henson Chairperson
Andrea is a co-founder the "Where Do We Go?" movement alongside Berkeley encampment residents. She is a graduate of UC Riverside and Is currently working as a tenants rights attorney in Oakland.
Photo by Yesica Prado
Ian Cordova Morales
Ian is a life long resident of the East Bay, growing up in and around Albany CA. He began his outreach work volunteering with groups such as Berkeley Copwatch and Berkeley Needle Exchange. During the recession in 2008, Ian was living unhoused in Berkeley. He is now housed and living in Oakland
Secretary Of The Board
Yesica is a mixed media journalist and photographer born in Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico. She has a masters in journalism from UC Berkeley and a bachelors in fine art and photography from University of Illinois. Yesica is a member of Berkeleys RV community and is a co-founder of Berkeley Friends On Wheels.
Paul is an artist and a Berkeley resident. He began supporting homeless folks in the east bay by running errands for residents of the here-there camp. Before living in Berkeley, Paul was a volunteer patient advocate at Boston Healthcare for the Homeless. He has also fundraised for anti-water-privatization efforts, and is a longtime supporter of corporate accountability.
Brandon Mercer "Grimm"
Director (Ashby Shellmound)
Brandon is an advocate for the homeless, mentally ill, and physically disabled. He worked as a nurse in an In-home supportive services program. After the passing of his mother and father he suffered a mental break and has been on the streets for the past 22 years. He is now using skills he learned as a nurse to help people and make his way through this world. "I would like to see equality recognized for more of the homeless and find some stability in my own life" Brandon is from Los Angeles but has been a Berkeley resident for over 20 years
Grimm (Left) and Osha Neumann (Right) Photo by Yesica Prado
Jathan Gurr began his activism during undergraduate studies with "Positive Force" in Washington DC and since then he has worked across the country with groups such as Marthas Table, Emaeus Services for the Elderly, The Clinic Defense Task Force, and Berkeley Copwatch. He has worked at 2 major homeless shelters including Community For Creative Non-Violence, DCs largest shelter. He has led fitness groups for outpatient mental health facility Chinook Club House. He has a BA in contempletive psychology from Naropa University and has a masters of fine arts in interdisciplinary arts from Goddart College. Most recently Jathan established The Berkeley Outreach Coalition in 2019
Jathan (Right) before Seabreeze march to city hall Photo by Yesica Prado
Patrick Ford is a longtime Berkeley resident. He was elected to the Board of Directors to represent the now demolished "Gilman camp". Despite the loss of his encampment, Patrick has stayed on the board to assist in operation logistics. Patrick is well respected as a longtime member of the unhoused community and is hoping to find permanent housing in the near future. He is currently employed as an independent contractor and works along side WDWG and Cal-Trans in the regular cleaning of the I-80 corridor
Joe is a U.S. Army Veteran who served from 1998 to 2005 in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He holds a BS in Geology from Colorodo School Of Mines. Joe has faced housing insecurity most of his adult life. He has been homeless on and off for 10 years residing in encampments and vehicles. Now housed, Joe has made it his mission to reveal the misconceptions of homelessness and create positive changed for the unhoused community.
Day Day is one of the founders of the "Where Do We Go" Movement during the Cal-Trans Sweeps of Seabreeze Encampment as well as a founding member of Seabreeze encampment its self. Her advice has been extremely valuable during the transition of Where Do We Go into a non-profit and has upheld accountability as a key factor in our operations.
Osha Neumann - Board Advisor