Wood Street Parcel Closed and Secured; 80% of encampment residents accept City shelter

Date Posted: May 4th, 2023 @ 2:49 PM
Last Updated: May 5th, 2023 @ 3:01 PM

Oakland, CA – After three weeks of transitioning Wood Street encampment residents and their pets to safe shelter programs with supportive services, on Wednesday the City of Oakland completed the court-authorized closure of the City-owned Wood Street parcel that began April 10. All people and property are safely off the parcel.

“Safety and securing dignified shelter for every resident were our primary goals in this closure,” said Mayor Sheng Thao. “I am grateful we achieved both and thankful for the collective efforts of the many staff in City Departments, Alameda County agencies, Operation Dignity, and community partners who contributed to this massive effort.”

As of today, 57 people out of an initial census of approximately 70 individuals living at the Wood Street encampment have accepted shelter services. 46 residents have accepted shelter at the Wood Street cabin program and eleven have elected to move to a Safe RV Parking program. Both shelter programs have capacity and the City continues to place individuals who choose to accept services into programs.

“Tonight, at least 57 fewer Oakland residents are sleeping outside on the street,” said LaTonda Simmons, Assistant City Administrator and Acting Homelessness Administrator. “And the City is now able to move forward with the development of 170 units of permanent affordable housing for up to 500 Oaklanders.”

The City’s cross-departmental Encampment Management Team worked together to achieve this important milestone. Public Works removed approximately 700 tons of trash and debris and OakDOT’s new Vehicle Enforcement Unit removed 39 vehicles, including nine stolen vehicles, from the site. Environmental Services was on hand to safely handle potentially hazardous materials and Oakland Fire Department extinguished several small fires in the encampment. Oakland Police Department helped provide critical public safety support. The Human Services Department worked closely with encampment residents for more than a year to offer shelter and other supportive services.

Throughout the operation, Lifelong Medical and Alameda County Health Care provided on-site services to residents in need of medical services and mental health support. Teams from Oakland Animal Services rescued 49 cats and kittens from individuals requesting assistance; some residents moved to the cabin program with their pets.

The City closed the approximately three-acre encampment on the City-owned parcel to enable the development of 170 units of permanent affordable housing.

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