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Oakland to build city-sanctioned homeless campground

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Designated spot will be a low-cost version of San Francisco’s Navigation Centers

Similar to San Francisco, Oakland has seen a rise in tent encampments over the last few years. The crisis has reached a tipping point. So much so that now Oakland will sanction a space specifically for homeless tents.

Camps near Interstate 880 have sprouted up. In addition to people living on the streets there, other issues like public health (the city has brought in portable toilets to stave off health hazards) and vehicular traffic dangers.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Matier and Ross, here’s how the campground will look if and when it goes into effect:

We are looking at a couple of sites in West Oakland,” said Joe DeVries, an assistant to the city administrator, who works on homeless issues. “We hope to have something lined up in the next couple of months.”

The camp would accommodate 40 tents and probably be overseen by staffers from a nonprofit under a contract with the city.

The goal is to create something like a low-cost version of San Francisco’s Navigation Centers, with support services staffers on hand to help steer camp residents into counseling, rehab and housing.

San Francisco also has a tent encampment crisis on its hands. Although the idea of an SF-based campground has been tossed around, nothing official out of City Hall has been emerged.

Spots along SoMa near Caltrain and Mission near Division are areas where tents have called home over the last few years. In November, the city passed Proposition Q, which made it verboten for people to pitch tents on city sidewalks.

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