EFEBy Marc Arcas Oakland, California

Tired of living in unsafe and unhealthy conditions, a group of homeless people in Oakland, California, have built their own village, creating for themselves under a local highway a vibrant community with shower, kitchen, vegetable gardens, a store and even a medical clinic.

"Feels like a safe place to be. It's like a neutral zone around here. I look at this place as an esteem builder. I come here to eat, to help, to connect with other folks," EFE learned from Kathy, a middle-aged women with long brown hair who has been homeless for six years and is a victim of domestic violence.

With tears in her eyes, unable to contain her emotions when she speaks of all the effort and dedication that the volunteers have put into building the village, Kathy acted as a guide for EFE in this "neighborhood" built with recycled materials and dubbed "Cob on Wood," since some of its buildings are made of unburned clay and straw - known as "cob" - near Wood Street.