Our Board wishes to extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of those who were lost in the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland and to the first responders working the scene on December 2nd and the days that followed. We are fortunate to have such thorough fire safety standards in the United States, but we continue to see how factors like income and status can cause these safeguards to degrade.
Housing crises in cities worldwide force students, artists, immigrants, and many more struggling communities to live in dwellings that are inherently less safe. This danger isn’t limited to large gatherings – people live in dangerously crowded quarters every day. Many are forced to live outside of laws that are meant to keep them safe just to survive. LGBTQ folks constantly struggle for their safety from violence and discrimination – one in five transgender people in the United States has experienced discrimination when seeking a home, and two out of five young people who are homeless identify as LGBTQ.
Our foundation was established on an idea that we knew would resonate with Jasmine’s spirit – that no matter who you are or where you live, you deserve access to safety. The individuals who lost their lives in the fire inspired their community, and their vibrant spirits will continue to reverberate beyond the countless lives they touched. We are here for the grieving parents, partners, families, and friends and we’ve reached out to our partners in fire services in the Bay Area to find out how we can continue to offer support.
Here are some useful resources:
- Our Residential Safety Checklist
- A Guide to Fire Safety in Industrial Spaces
- Washington Post - The Oakland fire would never have happened if the city cared more about artists
- SF Chronicle - For transgender victims, respect starts with using name they chose
- LA Times - They live 'in the shadows' like the Oakland warehouse. Now, they fear a witch hunt for homes like theirs
Here are the GoFundMe campaigns for the families and residents affected by the fire: