FACT SHEET: Encampment Management Intervention -- E. 12th Street, June 2022

Date Posted: June 20th, 2022 @ 4:04 PM
Last Updated: June 20th, 2022 @ 4:16 PM

Location

E. 12th Street from 18th Avenue westward to 14th Avenue, Oakland

Type of Intervention

Deep cleaning and partial closure

Reason for Closure

To mitigate negative public health and safety impacts at the E. 12th Street median due to encampment activity. The longstanding encampment along this median has long posed various health and safety concerns for those living nearby; business owners; encampment residents themselves; and has exacerbated traffic safety concerns.

From 2018 through 2020, Oakland firefighters responded to calls for 88 confirmed fires at this site, and fires increased significantly since then, with 53 confirmed fires in 2021 alone. In the last year, Oakland police have responded to multiple counts of assault, shootings, arson – and a homicide. Public works and transportation staff have responded to numerous, persistent reports that streetlights, traffic signals, and other essential safety infrastructure elements are frequently vandalized. The location is also a hotspot for illegal dumping and dumped, stripped, and/or stolen vehicles.

The City must provide holistic support services to existing encampment residents and then remove debris, restore public infrastructure, fortify and subsequently beautify the area to prevent re-encampment.

Compliance

All of this work will be done consistent with the requirements of the City of Oakland’s Encampment Management Policy (City Council resolution 88341). This location is considered a high-sensitivity area as defined in the policy, as the encampment is obstructing the City’s essential right of way with illegal structures. The policy states that “high-sensitivity areas are locations where the health and safety impacts of homeless encampments are heightened due to the potential degradation of critical infrastructure, restriction of public amenities or services, or significant obstructions to… businesses.”

Additional regulations and guiding documents include, but are not limited to:

  • Offer of Shelter Policy (City Council resolution 88077)
  • 9th Circuit decision in Martin v. Boise
  • Applicable CDC guidelines

Timing

This will be a phased closure with multiple operations.

  • The first operation occurred April 21 and included a deep cleaning of the entire site.
  • The second operation is scheduled to begin June 21-23, and will include closure of the area of the encampment between 18th Avenue and 17th Avenue. This will also include deep cleaning of the site from 17th Avenue up to the western end of the encampment.
  • A third operation will see the final closure of the encampment – including offers of housing in the area of the encampment from 17th Avenue to 16th Avenue – and is anticipated to occur approximately 45 days after the June operation. Activity will include housing offers, outreach in conjunction with community-based organizations offering services, shelter beds, and support for encampment residents.
    • Restoration of the site will be dependent on availability of materials, and will include methods to prevent re-encampment. Public infrastructure will be repaired and restored, including streetlights, traffic signals, road striping and more.
  • City-coordinated outreach will be ongoing leading up to and throughout any and all scheduled operations.

Outreach Efforts

The City’s encampment management and outreach teams have been visiting this encampment weekly since its re-encampment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Outreach visits include offering and distributing harm reduction supplies, including blankets, hygiene kits, food, water, and PPE supplies as a response to the pandemic.

Alameda County’s Health Care for the Homeless Street Medicine program also works to provide supportive services, client care coordination, and harm reduction when possible. The Street Medicine teams visit the site to engage with residents with medical needs. The services offered include, but are not limited to:

  • Wellness checks
  • Medical-assisted substance use treatment
  • Psychological assessments
  • Routine and as-needed COVID testing
  • COVID-19 vaccinations

How You Can Help

To learn more about how the City of Oakland is working to address homelessness, including how you can get involved and help, please go to the Oakland’s Response to Homelessness web page.

If you or someone you know is hungry, homeless, or housing insecure, please call 2-1-1.