Oakland, CA – Today, the City of Oakland began operations to close the Wood Street encampment and transition residents, their pets and belongings to shelter programs. The operation is anticipated to take two weeks to complete.
Together with the Encampment Management Team, Human Services Department, Oakland Public Works, the newly-formed Vehicle Enforcement Unit team managing abandoned vehicles within the City of Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT), Animal Services, Environmental Services, and other City departments, crews began removing tons of debris, illegally dumped material, and stolen, burned-out and inoperable vehicles from the City-owned parcel. Crews towed 12 vehicles from the site today, and four encampment residents agreed to relocate to a new cabin shelter program.
“Every Oakland resident has a right to housing, safety, and dignity,” said LaTonda Simmons, Assistant City Administrator and Acting Homelessness Administrator. “That’s why our teams are working so hard to transition residents off the street and into shelter programs that enable them to eventually secure permanent housing. We were able to acquire state funding to build a new cabin shelter program, taking into account the needs and desires of the Wood Street community. And we are eager to finally enable construction to begin toward a permanent affordable housing development on the Wood Street parcel for up to 500 Oakland residents.”
City outreach teams are continuing to distribute information and engage with residents one by one to offer a range of housing and shelter options, employment support, and other services and programs. The City expects to have more information from residents about their shelter decisions as the encampment operation proceeds and anticipates being able to provide shelter for everyone at the encampment who wants it.
The City is offering spaces at the new Wood Street cabin program, funded by an $8.3M grant from the State of California, as well as a Safe RV parking site on 66th Avenue. The Wood Street cabin program can house approximately 100 people, with priority given to unsheltered residents living in the Wood Street area. The program consists of cabins for individuals, double cabins for couples, and accessible cabins for people with disabilities.
The cabin program design team was able to accommodate many of the needs and requests of encampment residents, who specifically requested plumbed bathrooms, a community space, the ability to cook food, and workforce opportunities. The cabin program also includes shower and laundry facilities, limited secured storage for personal belongings, security, parking, and two meals per day.
Each cabin includes a secure, locked door and windows, a wall-mounted heater, an overhead light and electrical outlets. Program participants have 24/7 access to the site and are welcome to bring up to two pets. The program includes housing navigation, job placement support, case management, counseling, and other services.
A 170-unit permanent affordable housing project slated for the City-owned Wood Street parcel cannot begin until site is closed and secured.
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