"I just didn't have any luck," he says.
Barfield's story is hardly unique. Housing search times have doubled in some instances, and it takes voucher holders in Alameda County an average of 60 to 90 days to find a place, if they can find a place at all, according to a letter sent by East Bay housing agencies to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in fall 2015.
That time period is longer than the three months the vouchers are good for, so many people have to ask for extensions.
The problem is that the vouchers -- funded by HUD and administered by local housing authorities -- do not cover a high enough portion of the rent that many landlords are asking for.
At his tent, Barfield noted that the park doesn't have lights and it can be scary at night.
"You don't know who you're going to run into. You know you don't know them," he says.
After about four months living at the park, Barfield moved into a neighbor's car. He also started to do a little handyman work for his former landlord at his old apartment complex right down the street from the park.
After a couple months, the landlord offered Barfield a newly vacated apartment in the same building where his old apartment had been.
"He was like, 'I'm tired of seeing you on the streets so move back in,' " Barfield says.
Barfield says that the landlord even lowered the rent as a favor for him, and he calls this a miracle.
"I feel very lucky," he says.
Barfield's new apartment, which he moved into on Dec. 22, is one he painted for the landlord a year and a half ago. The place is clean but doesn't have much furniture. A chicken he got for Christmas still sat in the freezer because he didn't have a way to cook it. Barfield also doesn't yet have a lot of the basics, like kitchen utensils.
As we talked in his living room, a television sat on the floor with a stack of DVDs. Three chairs were scattered around the room with a coffee table pushed off to the side. I asked him what it was like his first night back, sleeping in his own home without a bed.
"Cold, but very comfortable."
Barfield says he looks forward to watching movies and feeling safe. Being homeless, he says, taught him something.