The online Comment window has expired

Agenda Item

3 20-0239 Subject: 2020 Supplemental Encampment Management Policy From: The Life Enrichment Committee Recommendation: Adopt A Resolution Adopting The Administration's Proposed Encampment Management Policy, To Be Implemented Upon Adoption By The Administration [TITLE CHANGE]

  • Default_avatar
    Victoria H almost 4 years ago

    I support this proposal. Given the prevalence of encampments in Oakland, it is essential the City develops policies to ensure their existence preserves or at least does not worsen the health and safety of Oaklanders, both house or unhoused. Just as the City regulates residences, businesses, public spaces, etc to ensure public health and safety, they should also regulate encampments in public spaces. When encampments catch on fire every month, when their rat population surpasses the human one, when streets become unpassable, when assaults and violence become commonplace, when human waste and trash coat the sidewalk, there is clearly a need for policy change. I think this proposal needs further development to ensure the needs of both housed and unhoused Oaklanders are met, but I am glad to at least see a first step.

  • Default_avatar
    Reisa Jaffe almost 4 years ago

    Intent vs impact. The impact of this policy will be to criminalize unhoused people..This proposed policy increases unhoused Oaklanders’ exposure to COVID-19. The policy dramatically restricts the space houseless Oaklanders can take up. Hiding the problem from housed people who are uncomfortable with the realities of what is going on is not providing solutions to the root problems causing houselessness.

    How many unhoused people have been at the table? Perhaps more are needed when you go back to create a better policy.

  • Default_avatar
    Dahvie James almost 4 years ago

    I STRONGLY SUPPORT the proposed LEC policy, and submit the following proposed refinements:
    o Explicitly call out Playgrounds to the list of protected spaces requiring a 100-foot setback.
    o Broaden the scope of the recommendation for this term to include ALL Vehicles used as lodging will help establish fairness for RV owners, and mitigate potential loopholes that may create costly follow-ups.
    o Add a requirement for signage explaining planned enforcement, and resources/contact details for requesting help/enforcement.
    o Add measures for oversight/enforcement of local shelters. Hold them accountable for being ‘Good Neighbors’. Require them to provide security and cleanup to their perimeter, as a condition for use. We require this of all other venues, why not of an organization bringing much higher traffic at far greater frequency.
    o Establish a clear and fair protocol for locations that require all neighbors to share responsibility. Neighborhoods like MLK/District 3 shoulder the lasting effects of Historical Redlining, to include over-population of the very motels considered for rehousing.

  • Default_avatar
    Erica Hruby almost 4 years ago

    Under this proposed policy, any unsheltered person living within 50 feet of a residence, business, park or school will be forcibly removed with only 72 hours notice! Any transitional shelter offered will likely only be available to evicted communities for that same 72 hours before they are put back on the streets without any safe place to lay their heads!

    3 days is not enough time to pack up my belongings and find new housing. How can we expect our most vulnerable neighbors without resources to keep themselves sheltered and safe with such draconian and in humane measures?

    This policy will use the racist, violent, and punitive police to invisibilize the racialized, anti-Black crisis of houselessness without addressing root causes. You MUST STOP THIS PROPOSAL in committee today!

    This proposed policy encourages mass evictions of our unhouseed neighbors, Displacing Oakland's houseless residents during the pandemic will result in the moving and resetting individuals to new and dispersed locations. This policy puts them and the community at large at increased risk of contracting Covid-19 by creating new exposure points.

    This proposed policy invests further resources in police and policing unhoused residents. Encampments sweeps are deadly, traumatic and harmful for our unsheltered neighbors! Oakland is calling to DEFUND the police and yet the budget breakdown of so-called encampment "interventions" spends three times more on police than on outreach staff!

  • Default_avatar
    Grant Chen almost 4 years ago

    I strongly support this proposal and urge the committee and city council to adopt this resolution immediately. I am a resident of the Hoover Foster neighborhood, which is predominantly non-white and is a historically red-lined neighborhood. When the 580 and 980 freeways were built, they cut off the neighborhood from essential services, such as schools, grocery stores, banks, medical offices, mail boxes, and more. Currently, homeless encampments are blocking both sides of the sidewalks on almost all of the underpasses between our neighborhood and essential services. That means that predominantly non-white residents do not have safe access to essential services. I have seen people in wheelchairs, children, and the elderly have to walk in the middle of the street with car traffic just to go to school, pick up groceries, go to the doctor, or mail a letter. The current lack of an encampment management policy has resulted in ADA violations where people do not have safe access to sidewalks. The underpasses on 29th and 30th streets were the first no-encampment zones because of the essential services and dangerous crimes that were occurring there. Encampments have now been there for 11 months. That is 11 months with no access to the sidewalk. We have to deal with rats, feces, and dangerous fires as neighbors to the encampment. We need this policy passed immediately!

  • 10113528207310923
    Pete Woiwode almost 4 years ago

    At its heart, this proposal is fundamentally flawed for the following and far too many more reasons than are possible to list in this forum:
    The passing of this proposal would provide a backdoor for the sort of encampment sweeps ruled unlawful in Martin-v-Boise, and would directly violate CDC Covid-19 guidelines which recommend a moratorium on encampment sweeps without the provision of alternate housing.

  • Default_avatar
    Ben Blackshear almost 4 years ago

    I oppose this cruel criminalization of homelessness. if the city wants to meaningfully address homelessness it should focus on affordable housing and improved provision of city services. All this proposal will do is shuffle encampments around and funnel more of our homeless neighbors into the criminal justice system.

  • Default_avatar
    Scott Elder almost 4 years ago

    I want to express my maximum support for the proposed new Supplemental Encampment Management Policy.
    Life in flatlands neighborhoods has become nearly unlivable for the housed and merciless pandemonium for the unhoused. Much of the progress Oakland has worked to attain over the past decades stands to be wiped away by the avalanche of chaos brought by our current homelessness crisis and affiliated conditions.
    I urge you all to cooperate and support this new plan. It's the best news I've heard in months and my whole neighborhood is hopeful for results. Do not let us down.

  • Default_avatar
    Ryan Harrison almost 4 years ago

    I oppose this measure as it further criminalizes homelessness in Oakland. While I appreciate the efforts that have been made to allow houseless people to continue to inhabit their current shelters, this action only criminalized their activity more than it already is. Many of the regulations on the camps seem arbitrary and unnecessary, especially when there are few to no options for housing, and the fact that we are currently in a worldwide pandemic and our houseless neighbors are at the highest risk. Many of the temporary removals such as the "Deep Cleaning" are often permanent for the residents, as I have personally witnessed all of the belongings of houseless neighbors being thrown away, without regard to their value or of the shelter they provided. Many of these items look banal on paper, but in reality their affect on actual houseless people is far greater. I urge the city council to wait to take up this action until more input can be had, and for the housing that has been purchased through the Homekey Grants this year by the city become available. I oppose this further criminalization of homelessness by the city in favor of residential and business interests.

  • Default_avatar
    John Chalik almost 4 years ago

    As the owner of commercial property that includes a specialty food marketplace made up of eight small businesses, I strongly support this measure as an important step in addressing the issues of homeless encampments and getting proper care for those requiring assistance. At the same time, we must balance those needs with the desire to maintain our recreational and commercial resources cleanly and safely. The businesses in our neighborhood have been severely impacted by the violence, screaming, littering, and, yes, defecating on the public sidewalks right beside merchants selling fresh food. One wonders just what interests are being served by addressing these issues with what amounts to a "hands off unless there is a serious crime" policy?
    Addressing homelessness is a complicated and expensive endeavor. Delay will only add to the price that will ultimately be paid and in the meantime the entire community suffers along with the homeless. Good governance means being honest about the problems and the solutions, painful as that may be. How much will it cost for society to properly confront these issues? Our community needs to know.

  • Default_avatar
    Human Being almost 4 years ago

    "Life Enrichment" for who? This proposal clearly prioritizes the enrichment of businesses and property owners over the lives of the most vulnerable members of our community. This proposal expands upon a history of harassment of homeless residents in Oakland while doing nothing to provide the sort of long term stable housing mandated by both the residents of Oakland and basic respect for human life.

  • Default_avatar
    Jonathan Creighton almost 4 years ago

    I support the committee’s proposals to restrict homeless living within 50-100 feet of homes/apartments, and to prohibit homeless encampments in public parks.

  • Default_avatar
    John Sander, Wood Street Community Action Group - Lead almost 4 years ago

    Please find this note of support from the Wood Street Community Action Group, we are comprised of over 50 homeowners, residents and business owners in the Prescott neighborhood and in the Wood Street corridor from 7th Street to Emeryville.

    You’ve heard from us before and we are in full support of the City of Oakland Encampment Management Policy. We look forward to this policy being passed by Committee on Monday and being recommended to Council soon after for adoption. This is a long overdue policy and we are pleased to see so many of our concerns and suggestions represented in this policy document.

    While passage of this document is a critical step, putting it into action and enforcing this policy is paramount. The Wood Street Corridor has grown exponentially out of control in the months of Covid and many of the forward steps that were in motion have come to a complete stop, resulting in moving the progress we had made and were making backwards. Developers struggle with getting the financial backing they need to build the critically needed housing in this corridor that will ultimately help with the homeless catastrophe. We cannot delay these much needed projects any longer.

    Wood Street Community Action Group
    John Sander - Lead

  • Default_avatar
    desiree turner almost 4 years ago

    I am a 40 year resident of East Oakland and I believe the city has let the homeless population take over. I am only in support of this because something is better than nothing. I personally believe that this does not go far enough. The unhoused are allowed too much space and the distance from schools and parks should be larger. Was there a proposed distance from residential areas? If so i missed it. Rats yes rats have invaded east Oakland and im sure there is a correlation with the unhoused. I purposely avoid San Leandro blvd and E14th because of the size of the encampments. Its depressing, filled with trash, and can starting to take on toll on my mental health. Not to mention seeing people partaking in all sorts of illegal activities. If passed what is going to be done to ensure people follow the rules?

  • 10224532138995883
    Yoka Verdoner almost 4 years ago

    I wish to support the proposal to prohibit homeless encampments in public parks and within 50-100 feet of homes or apartment houses. While we have a homeless crisis going on in Oakland, in a period of a pandemic, destroying our parks by converting them into homeless encampments will not solve the homelessness crisis, but will worsen the quality of life for all citizens of Oakland. You are probably already aware of the safety and health issues presently occurring in the Morcom Rose Garden as a result of several men having taken up residence there. These problems are accurately described in Nancy Friedman's comment and I don't have to repeat them. It is not longer safe to walk in the Rose Garden and under present regulations the OPD is apparently unable to intervene in a meaningful way unless some who is seriously hurt is willing to lodge a complaint. Please set up some legislation that will restore some sort of order in the parks, also for the surrounding neighbors who are kept awake by the fighting at night.. Thank you for all you do.

  • Default_avatar
    Jason Cerundolo almost 4 years ago

    In the section "Types of EMT Interventions", I would like to see more options than are presented. In particular, I think there are a lot more options for low cost ways to improve situations at encampments before resorting to partial or full closures. For example, a listed criterion for intervention is presence of electrical splices or illegal wiring. However, there is no mention of proving safe access to electricity in the intervention section. Similarly, excessive garbage is a cause for intervention, but garbage collection or providing a dumpster is not listed as a possible intervention. One final example, unpermitted fires are a cause for intervention, but providing sleeping bags or insulation to help people stay warm is not listed as a possible intervention. These are just examples of a larger point. Addressing the root cause of violations will be much cheaper and easier than resorting to closures, not to mention providing safety and dignity to the members of the encampments.

    I would also like to see more detailed options for health interventions. Disease outbreaks, including COVID-19, are listed as a public health finding prompting EMT intervention, but there is no mention of mass education, testing, tracing, and isolation as a possible intervention. Nor is there mention of providing masks as an intervention, which has been proven to be a cheap and effective method of controlling the spread of COVID-19.

  • Default_avatar
    Nancy Friedman almost 4 years ago

    I support the committee’s proposals to restrict homeless living within 50-100 feet of homes/apartments, and to prohibit homeless encampments in public parks. I live near and volunteer at the Morcom Rose Garden. In recent months, 3-4 men have begun living in the garden, with more visiting and assessing its desirability for staying. This has led to the following behaviors, making the garden forbidding rather than welcoming:
    The men urinate and defecate whenever and where ever they want, despite bathrooms being open to the public.
    They have left a large amount of soiled toilet paper, feces and a large, random collection of items behind the main “pool” building.
    They often fight (usually after drinking) with each other, disturbing neighbors at all hours, cursing loudly and occasionally injuring each other, recently necessitating an ambulance response.
    They leave large amounts of garbage wherever they are sitting or sleeping, rarely picking it up when requested to do so (dedicated Rose Garden volunteers and a part-time city employee have been cleaning up after them, but this isn't why or what they have trained to do).
    They often spread out across paths, blocking visitors’ access to parts of the park.
    Their dog has damaged rose beds and his feces are not picked up, an unpleasant surprise for volunteers.
    Many people have told volunteers that they are frightened by the men's behaviors and fearful for the garden’s future.

  • Default_avatar
    Carole Langston almost 4 years ago

    Thank you for tackling this matter - In regards to: Option 1: Continue to prohibit encampments in parks, especially those with recreation facilities on the grounds:

    In the Grand Lake Neighborhood we have not seen this ordinance enforced. We are currently experiencing severe public health problems caused by homeless "encampments" in our Rose Garden and Splash Pad Parks, these encampments inhabited by extremely aggressive homeless persons seen angrily confronting citizens, fighting among themselves, destroying city property, and leaving their hazardous trash and excrement for others to clean up. These persons have previously refused assistance and shelter by Social Services.

    Even worse, the close up aggressive face to face encounters with residents provide an the perfect opportunity for the spread of the Covid Virus, already rampant in Alameda County.

    I understand from the OPD that the only way to enforce their removal to another area is to obtain a "stay away" order from the courts and then the problem is the funding (costs as addressed in the Agenda) for a compassionate relocation. Can you kindly address this in the meeting of the Life Enrichment Committee?

    Thank you.

  • 10158486437922819
    Jane Bicek almost 4 years ago

    Thank you to this committee for addressing such a challenging situation. My concern is damage and noise several unhoused men are causing at Morcom Rose Garden, 700 Jean Street.

    I am a longtime volunteer at this 7 acre public park, and during the past 2 years it is becoming a public toilet. I have reported litter and accumulated possessions to 311 several times, my complaint is closed and referred to biohazard cleanup, but so far no clean up has happened. The unhoused men have loud, drunken parties and police are called frequently.

    Being unhoused is no crime, but damage to public spaces, intimidating visitors, leaving broken glass and litter are crimes and public safety and health should be a priority.

    I support the idea of limiting areas of homeless encampments away from parks and 50 feet from residences.

  • Default_avatar
    Phyllis Horneman almost 4 years ago

    Regarding rv dwellers on the street, there is no sanitary dumping station for these vehicles to empty their black and grey water tanks. One should be made available Since some vehicles are not capable of moving, pump truck service should be an alternative. Public health concerns are of primary importance.