Oakland, CA – Beginning today, the City of Oakland is opening its third Safe RV Parking site, located at 615 High Street adjacent to Home Depot in the Fruitvale neighborhood. The site will accommodate 41 RVs and will include 24/7 staffing, on-site security, electricity, drinking water, portable toilets, weekly shower service, garbage service, limited passenger vehicle parking, and the opportunity for participants to bring their pets.
The Safe RV Parking site is designed to serve any unsheltered resident over the age of 18 who currently resides in an RV—operable or not—at the East 8th and Alameda Avenue community next to Home Depot. It will be managed and operated by the Housing Consortium of the East Bay (HCEB), which also successfully operates the Safe RV Parking site at 71st Avenue, across from the Coliseum BART station, and the Lake Merritt Community Cabins. The HCEB team will provide oversight as well as on-site housing navigation to participants.
The design and intent of the Safe RV Parking program is to promote and protect a safe and healthy community that considers the different needs, preferences, and lifestyles of its residents and honors people’s personal choices as well as community wellness. Participation is completely voluntary, and participants are able to live safely off-street in their vehicles with sanitation and security while working toward self-sufficiency.
Not all the unsheltered residents currently living at East 8th/Alameda Avenue live in RVs. The City intends to serve the unsheltered community from this immediate area, and outreach workers will work with those without RVs or trailers one-by-one to identify available alternatives, including Community Cabins, emergency shelter, or other options for which they may be eligible. Specific options are being held for families, and outreach workers will be on-site throughout the move-in process to work with them directly.
Starting today, move-ins will occur until the site reaches capacity. As participants are enrolled in the program, a ramp-up to closure will commence. A closure zone will be established by February 18th, and enforcement of the closure zone will be phased in over several weeks as structures, vehicles, and debris are removed from the site of the current encampment. The encampment will be closed permanently no later than mid-March.
The High Street Safe RV Parking site is the third to open in Oakland. The first site was opened in May 2019 at 71st Avenue in East Oakland; it accommodates up to 45 RVs. The second site is on Beach Street adjacent to the Mandela Community Cabins in West Oakland on the Emeryville border. That site opened in August 2019 and accommodates up to 17 RVs. It is managed by Operation Dignity, which also manages the Mandela Community Cabins. With the opening of the High Street site, the three sites accommodate 103 RVs serving approximately 150 people.
A fourth Safe RV Parking site is planned for 2400 Wood Street, a 4-acre private property which the owner will lease to the City for up to three years with no monthly rental fee. This large site will accommodate up to 80 RVs. The owner is in the final stages of clearing the property to allow the City to move forward with construction of the site. Those who reside in the Wood Street corridor will be given first priority to locate at this site once construction is completed. When the Wood Street RV Safe Parking site opens, the City will have accommodated up to 183 RVs at one time, serving about 240 people.
Each RV Safe Parking site costs approximately $600,000 to operate. Grant funding is provided through the State’s Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP).