Statement on Lakeside Park Closure
Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas
February 14, 2019
Last fall, prior to me assuming office, the Administration planned closing homeless encampments around Lake Merritt and enforcing its no-camping ban. They started at Peralta Park near the Kaiser Convention Center in October. This week, they gave 72 hours notice about closing the remaining encampments including Lakeside Park Thursday and Friday. Learn more: www.oaklandhomelessresponse.com and bit.ly/2N7XiGT
I understand the public’s health and environmental concerns AND we have to treat our unsheltered neighbors with compassion and dignity.
The United Nations has called out Oakland for “human rights violations due to local government’s lack of will to provide permanent housing to all residents.”
Each person that the City evicts today and tomorrow must have the opportunity to speak with a service provider about their situation and have adequate shelter to move to. We need to upgrade their conditions -- otherwise we’re not solving this issue, we’re just forcing people to move around.
The City has 30 spots available in temporary shelters across the city (Community Cabins, the Holland, and St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County) for transitioning people who will be displaced by the closure.
I appreciate the advocates who are at the Lake today and tomorrow supporting our unsheltered neighbors with food and transportation and helping ensure they have services to support transitioning into adequate shelter.
To address the homeless crisis, my office will prioritize (1) expanding services for homeless encampments including sanitation and drinking water, and (2) community-led solutions to homelessness to immediately house people in sanctioned encampments, tiny homes, mobile homes and other alternative models. See “Housing Oakland’s Unhoused” here: http://bit.ly/2NaM3h2