Meeting Time: March 27, 2020 at 11:00am PDT
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Agenda Item

2 20-0314 Subject: CDC Interim Guidelines On Homelessness And Covid-19 From: Council President Kaplan Recommendation: Adopt A Resolution Requesting The City Administrator To Follow The Center For Disease Control ("CDC") Interim Guidelines On Homelessness And Covid-19 To Only Clear Encampments If Individual Housing Units Or Alternative Shelter Is Provided

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    Claire Kennedy over 3 years ago

    To clear an encampment right now without providing alternative (safer, healthier) options in the middle of a pandemic would be the height of cruelty. It's time for the city (and society at large) to step up in how we care for our vulnerable populations. Many of whom are homeless due to an unfair system that is not designed to actually end homelessness. Most of us need to realize we ware much closer to being homeless than we are to being millionaires so its time to start supporting and uplifting people who have been considered disposable. If we don't do the right thing right now then what will it take?

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    Hana Zait over 3 years ago

    I strongly support this measure. The sweeps are already deeply unethical and inhumane even when they happen while we are not experiencing a pandemic, and the city of Oakland simply cannot continue these sweeps during this pandemic. The city needs to provide folks with housing. Oakland has approximately 4 empty units for every 1 houseless person, so we have the ability to house folks. How can we ask people to stay inside and shelter in place when they don't have somewhere safe to do so? This is a human rights issue and a public health issue. The city should NOT clear encampments period, regardless of whether housing is provided to people.

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    Jake Waiters over 3 years ago

    The treatment of our homeless population was already abhorrent before this crisis. To continue those policies now would be both immoral and counterproductive. If you want people to shelter in place so we can survive this epidemic, you need to not blow them around like leaves in the wind. Put aside your hatred for poor people to save your own skin if that's what you need to hear

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    Rodolfo Casillas over 3 years ago

    It's important to prioritize housing for the homeless now and after the pandemic!

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    James E Vann over 3 years ago

    This item must be supported. It must also apply to vehicular living.
    James E Vann

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    Melissa Mandel over 3 years ago

    Dear Council: This position is absolutely necessary and, if followed in spirit and letter, is the only humane and safe policy. That has been true for years while the city acted against all decent and legal standards, and now with the virus pandemic, it becomes also the only and safest way to protect encamped residents. I include all the people living outside whether in tents or vehicles or otherwise outside. Clearly, moving people around, shuffling communities is dangerous at this time. Meanwhile, the city can, of course, provide shelter in place for everyone, using empty units across the city to do so.

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    Jean Quan over 3 years ago

    Since so many of the homeless on Oakland Streets were pushed out. We need to stop/slow the trend with rent assistance & housing alternatives. We need to particularly find help for the seniors who are homeless. It is now literally a life or death problem.

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    Nell Myhand over 3 years ago

    It is imperative that you stop the sweeps of curbside communities which increase their vulnerability to Covid -19. Likewise, for people who are living in vehicles. Stop towing vehicles that people are using for shelter. Until you are able to provide permanent homes you should be using available resources to stabilize and improve conditions in the encampments.

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    Izzy Rosa over 3 years ago

    also prioritize housing for these folks after the fact as well.

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    Dave Lyons over 3 years ago

    We must not contribute to further instability of the poor and working class which will only exacerbate an already tragic situation. David Lyons - District 6

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    Maowunyo Asis over 3 years ago

    I support this. but the city must also stop towing vehicles people live in. The towing of vehicles has not stopped since the administration said encampments would not be evicted or demolished, & instead those funds would go towards increased sanitation services. dozens of unhoused residents have been left on the side of the road in the past two weeks as their homes were impounded. they were following the shelter in place, but thru the tows & impounds were left with nothing not even tent. The city also needs to create immediate permanent housing options for the unhoused. hotels should be turned into permanent SROs with onsite services; vacant units should be filled with permanent residency; in the meantime, all curbside communities need hand sanitizer, clean drinking water, wash stations, portapotties, masks& gloves. the county & state are not providing any of these preventions. can you imagine how bad this crisis will really get with no proactive measures in place?

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    Matthew Leber over 3 years ago

    Thank you for your leadership. This bill is critical to keeping our most vulnerable safe. Please vote to support.

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    Concerned Resident over 3 years ago

    I agree with an earlier resident that said, "I fully support a ban on evictions & rent increases; use of hotels, trailers, & vacant housing; and other measures to prevent homelessness and keep unhoused people from living on the streets." But I also worry that waiting for "alternative shelter" to be "provided" is either going to take a long time or not going to happen at all. We've been dealing with the homelessness problem for years now, and despite everything the city has done, I've only seen more encampments near my home and each one has increased in size. Plus I see RVs still parked by the Lake and elsewhere. No parking limits are enforced on them (like street sweeping), and they dump their dirty water into storm drains. Why aren't they moved to the RV lots the city has? The problem has gotten worse, not better. So while I'd like there to be alternative shelter for everyone first and I agree that we need to be careful in light of COVID19, we can't keep kicking the can down the road.

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    Katrina Tuebcke over 3 years ago

    This is for all of our safety! Even if you didn't care about poor people's lives before virus .. giving them a chance to break the virus spread is existential survival necessity now.

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    Laura Guzman over 3 years ago

    I support this measure. We have the largest per capita of unhoused people in the state of California. Half of the unhoused population is 55 plus and many have underlying medical conditions. The majority are Black brothers and sisters that deserve our love and to be protected as the most vulnerable populations and potentially impacted by Covid in the City. Oakland's inaction on scaling up housing for our communities was due before Covid-19. The time is now - we must follow the CDC guidelines and purchase land and property to house our folks.

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    Jen Rabon over 3 years ago

    I support this measure.

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    Vulnerable Resident over 3 years ago

    I fully support a ban on evictions & rent increases; use of hotels, trailers, & vacant housing; and other measures to prevent homelessness and keep unhoused people from living on the streets.

    Nonetheless, as the City prepares to ban encampment closures, the following remains unaddressed:

    How will the City determine appropriate locations for wash stations, porta-potties, or other facilities and services? Will the concerns of existing (housed) residents and local businesses be considered?

    I suggest establishing needed services where neighbors don't complain or object. Abolish camping at other locations, and post that info widely.

    Homelessness is a predicament, not an identity. The fact that someone claims to be "homeless" doesn't imply a right to a squalid, crowded encampment wherever they choose.

    Those who wish to be considered "unhoused neighbors" (and their self-appointed advocates) must be held accountable by the larger community. Respect and consideration are a two-way street.

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    Krusty Wheatfield over 3 years ago

    Yes. And prioritize housing these folks AFTER this is over as well! The health and well-being of humans matters no matter what their housing status is!

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    Rachel Beck over 3 years ago

    I support this resolution, but I want to clarify that my support goes beyond the end of the pandemic. Encampments are among the ways people make the best of a bad situation. If we're not going to make the situation better-- by making sure that there's adequate safe, affordable housing near transit and other needed services-- we ought at least not make it worse by evicting people from the ad hoc communities they've formed.

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    Jessica Sexton over 3 years ago

    Support for our unhoused neighbors is critical. The least we can do is to let them shelter in place, but we should be doing far far more than that. Open up all the empty 'market rate housing' and give our people safety!