UCP’s Annual Report for 2023

 Dear UCP Community,

I am delighted to present our Annual Report showcasing our remarkable accomplishments throughout the year. It is with immense pride that I reflect on the dedication and resilience of the entire UCP community, our volunteers, our donors, and the board. Without the grassroots support we’ve obtained through the years, we would not be able to operate in the capacity that we are doing now – and making the impact that we have on the unhoused community.

In the face of unprecedented challenges from the COVID pandemic, to financial hardships, growing economic inequalities, global injustices, and hurdles faced in dealing with the city government, we remained steadfast in our commitment to bringing dignity to the unhoused community of Oakland. To date, we have cleaned over 352 tons of trash, conducted over a thousand advocacy and clean-up campaigns, and rehoused over 166 people in our community. Our focus remains on the thousands of unhoused individuals living without adequate services, such as shelter, housing, mental health services, and comfort – while addressing the illegal dumping crisis. 

Our volunteers, who show up every Saturday, in rain or shine, are the backbone of our organization. To devote every Saturday morning to cleaning up tons of illegally dumped trash is no simple feat. We could not be more grateful for their dedication. To our donors – you have helped us sustain our daily operations, purchase the needed equipment to carry out cleanups at encampments, and provide necessary services to those suffering the most.

We’re excited to grow even further in 2024 with some exciting developments  and evolving partnerships that will expand the scope and scale of our organization. We are eager to share these with you in this annual report!

Thank you again for your unwavering support and dedication to the Urban Compassion Project over the years. I am excited to delve into the following pages of this report to discover the milestones, achievements, and exciting prospects that define our organization.


      Supriya Golas
      Board President

2023 Impact Highlights

Environmental Impact for 2023

Community Based Cleanups

Tons of Bagged Waste Cleared

Bags of Debris Collected

Client-Centered Impact for 2023

Individuals Rehoused with Assistance

Mutual Aide Days Conducted

Annual Increase in Mutual Aide Days

Our Mission at Urban Compassion Project

At Urban Compassion Project, we are committed to the health, welfare, and empowerment of the unhoused. In building relationships, and bridges to services, we encourage humanity with compassion, and empathy, while promoting community.

We clean the trash that threatens the health and safety of community members and provide wrap-around services for the unhoused. We build community between the unhoused and housed community members and seek to encourage humanity with acts of kindness, compassion, and empathy.


City of Oakland Contract

At the end of 2023 we have been making progress with securing a contract with the City of Oakland to manage 50 hygiene sites throughout the city in 2024. Our responsibilities in this contract include regular maintenance, site selection, outreach, and scheduling mobile shower units. The annual contract is valued between $150K to $200K. However, Oakland requires us to fund the initial program costs and then submit monthly invoices for reimbursement. This presents a challenge, as we currently operate with little funding and will need a boost of support to start the program off right. Despite this, we’re strategizing ways to scale up and meet these requirements.


Board of Directors

Supriya Golas

Board President


Vincent Williams

Founder/CEO & Executive Director


Melanie Dhiamade

Director of Development


Lindsay Pfeiffer

Social Innovation


Paige Voorhees


    Volunteer & Community Engagement

    Transformation Through Community

    As we reflect on the past year, our hearts are filled with immense gratitude for the extraordinary community of volunteers, businesses, and key donors who have generously contributed their time, skills, and collaborative spirit to our cause. Your dedication to cleaning and beautifying our community has not made a tangible difference in our encampments, parks, and waterways but also fostered a stronger, more connected community. The total income we took in for 2023 was $172,757 and with your help UCP conducted 133 mutual aide days (an increase of 155%), rehoused 50 individuals, and removed 130.8 tons of bagged waste!  

    It is important to note that this number excludes large waste like refrigerators, couches, beds. We are seeking additional funding to purchase a scale to measure the larger impact of the waste removal work we do. Over the year our amazing community at UCP collected 5,450 bags of debris and that is how we currently track and measure our average by cleanup weight of 1.2 tons per-cleanup in addition to initiatives we do in collaboration with PG&E and municipalities. Your involvement and support embody the true spirit of community engagement, and we are profoundly thankful for each and every one of you. 

    Beating All Odds

    Despite facing resource constraints, we stretch every dollar to its limit. With just $1,321 from our 2023 budget, we managed to support a day of mutual aid, rehouse an individual, and remove over a ton of waste—demonstrating the incredible power of community support in making a significant difference.


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    Working Through Challenges

    The United Nations calls Oakland California’s homeless crisis a human rights violation. 

    We rely almost entirely on individual donations to cover costs. This includes cash donations as well as donations of materials, resources, supplies, and volunteer time. In order to scale and grow to best meet the needs of the more than 4,000 unhoused residents of Oakland, we need funding to hire multiple full-time staff members to carry out administrative tasks, direct volunteer cleanups, and distribute resources during weekly drop-offs. We strive to employ predominantly BIPOC Oakland residents who have experienced housing insecurity or homelessness.

    In January of 2021, Vincent Williams III created Urban Compassion Project in response to the rampant illegal dumping throughout the city of Oakland, primarily where unhoused people were staying. Having experienced long stretches of homelessness himself, Williams wanted to see his unhoused neighbors better connected to the local community while helping to create a healthier, cleaner environment. In a short few months, Williams has already created a regular weekly cleanup that partners Oakland residents with the unhoused in their community to dispose of trash, debris and large items across different locations in the city.

    This work connects people who are unhoused with their housed neighbors, building trust and community, while empowering those who are unhoused to care for their spaces around Oakland. Additionally, by cleaning up illegal dumping and helping people who are unhoused to maintain their spaces, Urban Compassion Project discourages continued dumping—the less trash in an area, the less likely people are to add trash to it

    While living on the street or out of cars, 20% of those experiencing homelessness nationally reported to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development that they had a serious mental illness. Additionally, unhoused individuals are up to six times more likely than the general population to have serious long-term health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and HIV/AIDs.

    A lack of adequate safe-sleeping or safe camping zones for unhoused people in Oakland means that these groups are often forced to reside in undesirable and dangerous areas—under freeway overpasses or along high-traffic thoroughfares. 

    Unfortunately, because these areas don’t have high foot traffic and aren’t desirable for real estate, they are also subject to illegal dumping, creating a two-pronged issue: people dump trash where unhoused people are living, and then take unhoused living in an area as permission to dump more trash.  Williams has a five year plan to expand the work Urban Compassion Project does to include resource distribution and outreach connection with the unhoused communities the group serves in addition to an Oakland navigation center. A navigation center like the Village of Love in Alameda or The Navigation Center in San Francisco connects unhoused people with non-shelter-related services. These can include a hot meal, a shower, and a space to meet with a counselor or social worker all at one location. These centers are crucial to the long-term well-being of unhoused people as it helps streamline access to much-needed services and can be a critical turning point in transitioning away from living on the street.

    To date, UCP has rehoused 166 individuals experiencing homelessness, conducted 900+ cleanups, with over 352 tons of waste removed.

    Darlene & Kai’s Story

    Transformation Through Community

    In a remarkable journey of hope and renewal, Darlene and her son Kai have moved from vulnerability to stability, embodying the profound impact of our collective support. 

    Darlene’s story, once marked by the challenge of living without housing and a critical moment of intervention to protect her during her pregnancy, has evolved into a narrative of strength and positive change. Today, Darlene and Kai are thriving members of a community that stood by them in their time of need.

    Darlene and Kai underscores the critical need for support and resources that many in our community face. They remind us that behind every challenge is potential waiting to unfold, with each individual and family deserving of the opportunity to thrive.

    We extend our heartfelt gratitude this beautiful family and  everyone in our community who have contributed to UCP, Darlene, and Kai, helping to make stories like theirs possible.

    Financial Overview for 2023

    Grants & Projects

    Grand Total: $145,070

    Notable Mentions & Appreciation to,

    • American Endowment Foundation: $60,000 
    • The San Francisco Foundation: $50,000
    • Colleen and Robert D. Haas Grant: $50,000
    • Utility Construction Services: $7,840
    • Schwab Charitable Foundation: $5,650
    • Vanguard – $5,000
    • The Perkins Coie Foundation – $5,000
    • Oakland Fund for Public Innovation – $5,000
    • Benevity Causes: $3,876.22
    • Bishop O’Dowd High School: $1,692.49
    • R.D. Hume-Mary A. Hume Endowment: $1,500
    • Network for Good: $1,119
    • Jeweld Legacy Group – $1,000
    • Rebuilding Together East Bay North – $693.20

    Fundraising Activities:

    • 5K Compassion Run: $800
    • Baskets of Care Auction: $740
    • Giving Tuesday: $990.03
    • Valentines Day Bake Sale: $955.11

    2023 Donations

    Donations + $27,687

    See Honorable Mentions Below 

    2023 Profit

    Donations + $27,687

    Project Income  + $37,275

    Grants + $107,795

    TOTAL INCOME: $172,757

    2023 Loss

    Advertising & Marketing – $3,253

    Car, Truck, & Travel – $47,047

    Job & Office Supplies – $19,732

    Meals & Entertainment – $2,762

    Payroll – $65,378

    Rent & Lease – $16,527

    Client Food & Supplies – $7,227

    Temporary Housing Assistance -$25,928 

    TOTAL EXPENSES: $187.854

    Honoring Our Donors

    Your support drives our efforts, directly impacting the health and safety of Oakland’s communities.

    $1000+ Donations

    Notable Mentions & Appreciation to,

    • Christian Lutjen
    • Hydeh Ghaffari
    • Jasmin Stitt
    • Supriya Golas
    • Glen Hayashi

    $500+ Donations

    Notable Mentions & Appreciation to,

    • Gage Stephens
    • Kristine Metzker
    • Lars Skugstad
    • Steve Hanna

    $250+ Donations

    Notable Mentions & Appreciation to,

    • Adrian Bozzolo
    • Alexandra VanderJeugdt
    • Anne Tarantino
    • Arlene Zuckerberg 
    • Daxle Callier
    • Eric Proegler 
    • Holly Finertie
    • Jane Wellman
    • Jane Yang
    • Jeff Hunt
    • Joseph Stephens
    • Katherine Whitney
    • Lori Nestore
    • Mapolo Buessing
    • Rachel Martin
    • Shirley Liu

    Urban Compassion Project wants to acknowledge a few of our invaluable partners:

    Uptown Downtown Community Benefits District, Keep Oakland Beautiful, Lake Merritt Lodge, PG&E, Livable Spaces, and Utility Construction Services, Rebuilding Together East Bay, Jeweld Legacy Group, whose collaboration has been instrumental this year in our shared vision of a cleaner, greener, and more vibrant community.

      We also wish to acknowledge our donor support and highlight people and partners, including:

      American Endowment Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation, Lori Nestore, Colleen and Robert D. Haas Grant, Livable Spaces, Utility Construction Services, Schwab Charitable Foundation, Vanguard, The Perkins Coie Foundation, Oakland Fund for Public Innovation, Oakland Fund for Public Innovation, Glen Hayashi

          Celebrating Community Support with a Spotlight on Jen Cazeres and Livable Spaces

          Livable Spaces has been a cornerstone in our community efforts, providing unparalleled support in mutual aid and resources. Alongside, Jen Cazeres stands out as our premier donor, whose contributions have filled many hearts with hope and aid. In 2023, her generosity accounted for nearly half of all distributed items, showcasing the strength of collaboration in driving meaningful change. Thank you Jen and Living Spaces for being such a major impact in our community.

          Discover the transformative work of Livable Spaces and how Jen Cazeres’s expertise as a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization® and Certified Virtual Organizing Professional™ is making a difference in our community and beyond. Explore Livable Spaces and see how organized spaces lead to transformed lives.

          Snapshots of Hope, Transformation, and Community

          "The work you do is so immensely valuable. Thank you for serving the unhoused and the City of Oakland."

          Jasmine Stitt

          "Love what y'all do. It was an honor meeting and recording a podcast with Vincent (Storied: SF)."

          Jeff Hunt

          "This is to honor Teddy Bear. He seemed to have really turned his life around, and you and your extended community helped make it happen. In solidarity . . . PM"

          Phyliss Martinez

          "This is in memory of our sister-in-law, Jennifer Cole, who volunteered with your organization."

          Graham & Amy L. Huey

          "I will send in a monthly contribution. I am not the type who wants to volunteer at this time but at least I can help financially. Thank you. Gage"

          Joseph (Gage) Stephens

          "I appreciate everything this organization does to help our community members"


          "Met at Keep Oakland Beautiful event. Really inspired by the work you do."


          "Thank you Vincent and team for all your work at Fitzgerald Park. You are saving lives."

          Chris Moore

          "Heard Vincent speak at Amy Cheney event. Love the work you do and the spirit in which you do it."

          Joan Galvez

          Make A Donation

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          People Housed

          Tons of Trash Removed

          Volunteer Participation

          Frequently Asked Questions:

          How will my donation be used?

          Donations are crucial for funding our cleanups, resource distributions, and case management services. Your support helps us provide essentials like food, clothing, and hygiene products, and contributes to our efforts in rehousing. 

          Is my donation tax-deductible?

          Yes, we are a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, your contribution to UCP is tax-deductible.

          Tax EIN 86-2807260


          Can I volunteer my time instead of donating money?

          Absolutely! We value the time and skills of our volunteers. There are many ways to get involved, from participating in cleanups to assisting in our administrative tasks. 

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