This week the City of Oakland made significant progress to close the Wood Street encampment and help residents and their pets transition to safe shelter programs with supportive services.
Thirty-nine encampment residents have accepted shelter at the Wood Street cabin program and eleven have elected to move to the Safe RV Parking program. Both programs continue to have capacity for Wood Street encampment residents.
Lifelong Medical and Alameda County Health Care have provided on-site services to encampment residents in need of medical services and mental health support. City crews have removed more than 600 tons of trash and debris and 39 vehicles, including nine stolen vehicles, from the site.
“We are incredibly pleased that fifty encampment residents have accepted our shelter services,” said LaTonda Simmons, Assistant City Administrator and Acting Homelessness Administrator. “The solution to homelessness is housing, and the City looks forward to the construction of 170 units of permanent affordable housing on this parcel.”
The City developed the Wood Street cabin program using an $8.3 million grant from the State of California. The program includes housing navigation, job placement support, counseling, and other services. Participants can stay up to six months, with the option to extend, while they work closely with case managers to transition to supportive housing. The cabin program is managed and operated by Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS).
The cabin planning and design team held multiple onsite meetings with Wood Street encampment residents and was able to accommodate many of their needs and requests, including plumbed bathrooms, a community space, the ability to cook food, workforce opportunities, and a desire to remain together as a community.
Each cabin contains a mini-refrigerator, wall-mounted heater, electrical outlets, an overhead light, desk, chair, windows that open, a secure, locking door, and a place for clothing and belongings. The program offers laundry facilities, showers, flush toilets, kitchen facilities, security, parking and two meals per day. Residents are welcome to bring up to two pets. The cabin program is designed to be extremely low barrier, with minimal rules. Participants are asked to abide by a Code of Conduct to maintain a healthy and safe community. There is no curfew.
Outreach teams continue to engage with the remaining Wood Street encampment residents one by one to offer a range of shelter options, mental health services, employment support, and other programs.
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