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Agenda Item

8 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]

View Report View Attachment A View Attachment B View Report - Taylor View Attachment B - Taylor View Supplemental Report - 9/11/2020 View Supplemental Report - Attachment A 9/11/2020 View Supplemental Report - Attachment B 9/11/2020 View Supplemental Report - Attachment C 9/11/2020 View Supplemental Report - Attachment D 9/11/2020 View Supplemental Legislation - 9/11/2020 View Supplemental Report - Exhibit A 9/11/2020 View Supplemental Legislation - 9/18/2020 View Supplemental Report - Exhibit A 9/18/2020 View Supplemental Letter 10/8/2020 View Supplemental Report - Bas 10/16/2020 View Supplemental Report - FULL SUPPORT 10/16/20/2020 View Supplemental Report - Support for the Oakland Homeless Encampment Management 10/16/2020 View Supplemental Report - Support 10/16/2020 View Supplemental Report - We Support The New Encampment Management Policy 10/16/2020 View Supplemental Report - Writing In Support 10/16/2020 View Supplemental Report - Writing In Support Of Encampment Management Policy 10/16/2020 View Supplemental Staff Report - 10/16/2020 View Supplemental Attachment A - 10/16/2020 View Supplemental Attachment B -10/16/2020 View Supplemental Attachment C - 10/16/2020 View Supplemental Attachment D - 10/16/2020 View Supplemental Attachment E - 10/16/2020 View Supplemental Attachment F - 10/16/2020 View Supplemental Attachment G - 10/16/2020 View Supplemental Attachment H - 10/16/2020 View Supplemental Attachment I - 10/16/2020 View Supplemental Attachment J - 10/16/2020 View Supplemental Attachment K - 10/16/2020 View Supplemental Legislation - 10/16/2020 View Supplemental Exhibit A -10/16/2020
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    Liza Rankow almost 3 years ago

    I have lived in Oakland 23 years, and in D2 for the last 12. I am writing to strongly oppose this encampment management proposal. The proposed policy is based on a survey of a small sample of majority white homeowners. Hardly representative of this city and our most impacted residents. The proposal frames a zero sum game of either leaving things as they are now or implementing this so-called "humane" policy criminalizing our unhoused neighbors and banishing them from 98% of the city -- away from the resources they rely on. Additionally, this goes against CDC recommendations to halt encampment evictions in this time of pandemic. Even in the best of times, evictions are traumatic and destabilizing.

    A truly humane policy should include solutions for immediate shelter (moving folks from encampments to tiny home and tent villages, protected land, safe RV spaces -- instead of solely limited shelter beds); full wraparound services (especially addressing trauma mental health, addiction); pathways to permanent housing; enforcement of trash pickup and cleanup of illegal dumping; sanitation applied to all sites (trash pickup, rodent control, dumpsters, portable toilets, hand washing stations); rules and guidelines on trash/hoarding, space, blocking walkways, etc. (which the current proposed policy does include). It should be based on care not criminalization.

    I support the points submitted by HAWG (the Homeless Advocacy Working Group) to the council.

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    Ben Ramirez almost 3 years ago

    I live in District 3 in West Oakland where resources such as clinics, mail boxes, grocery stores are in the other side of telegraph. We are cut off from all of these necessities and have to go through in traffic in the middle of the street just to access basic human needs because of encampments blocking the side walks on 30th and 29 streets. Neighbors in wheelchairs have no choice but walk through incoming traffic just to get home. There are also rats and feces with running water that puts us in danger and contract diseases. Yes, I agree that we need our unhoused neighbors a safe place to live but we also want our sidewalks an access everyday needs without fear of being run over by cars. We already live in a disadvantage area please don't make it difficult for us to reach basic resources.

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    Grant Chen almost 3 years ago

    I am writing to urge you to please pass the encampment management policy as proposed by Daryel Dunston. While I live in District 3, over 70% of the homeless population live in District 3, so your vote on this policy impacts me greatly. I live in the Hoover Foster neighborhood of West Oakland. Freeway underpasses separate my neighborhood from essential services such as schools, grocery stores, banks, medical clinics, laundromats, mail boxes, and more. Currently, homeless encampments are blocking many of the sidewalks, which blocks pedestrian access to essential services. This disadvantages people who rely on walking and is dangerous as it puts pedestrians into car traffic. There are daily instances of people who use wheelchairs traveling in the street because the sidewalk is blocked.

    I am compassionate and want housing for people experiencing homelessness. But the sidewalks are not the solution. While the city explores more permanent shelter and housing solutions, we need this encampment management policy so that the city can be safe for all residents. While the encampment management policy as proposed is not perfect, it is a step in the right direction. One instance where I think it needs to be improved, is clarifying the language around freeway underpasses. It states that underpasses would not be prioritized for enforcement. While some underpasses are low-impact to residents, West Oakland residents rely on underpasses to access necessary resources. Please pass this policy!

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    Olivia G almost 3 years ago

    I would like to acknowledge and remind all that we are occupying unceeded Chochenyo Ohlone land.
    As a D3 resident, I strongly oppose this measure, for several reasons. Firstly, this would directly defy CDC guidelines which advise a halt on all encampment evictions during this pandemic for reasons that seem pretty obvious. If houseless people don't have a home to shelter-in-place, then their only option is to do so at the shelter of their encampments. Second, this policy is ill-informed and bias as 60% of respondents of the survey are homeowners who are not experiencing housing insecurity. Additionally, this policy would further undermine the will of the people to defund OPD. The police "interventions" (aka violent displacements) cost tax payers 3x the amount that is spent on community outreach. Finally, these violent "interventions" impart further trauama and destabilization on our community's most vulnerable populations. I have personally witnessed an encampment sweet and it consisted of police slashing tents with knives, treating houseless people with hostility and impatience as they scrambled to gather what few possesions they had. They were given very little notice, certainly not enuogh to get support in relocating. So instead of further dehumanizing and penalilizing poor, unhoused people- address the systemic housing crisis that created this devastating reality in the first place.

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    Nicholas Elizabeth Faby almost 3 years ago

    The policy as laid out in the report would restrict encampments to the point of there being almost nowhere in Oakland for homeless residents to legally be. My unhoused neighbors who live on the corner near my house would be forced to move under this policy even though their tent is not a hazard to anyone. The city should focus on building affordable housing and sanitation and services for existing encampments, not further policing unhoused Oakanders.

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    Grant Lehner almost 3 years ago

    I strongly oppose this policy. It would cause unnecessary trauma to the unhoused community, and would ultimately be counterproductive in lowering the number of unhoused individuals in the area. By dehumanizing and criminalizing the existence of our unhoused neighbors, this policy represents a horrifying lack of empathy or morality for our neighbors. Furthermore, the negative effects of this plan will disproportionately effect people of color and those with disabilities, who make up a larger portion of the unhoused community in Oakland. This proposal will also further compound existing problems unhoused individuals experience, and would create further financial burdens on the city that would detract from any efforts to address the underlying root causes of homelessness. The buffer zones created would apply to cover what is essentially the entire city of Oakland. This would in effect create too large of an area for a management team to effectively operate, while also essentially criminalizing homelessness throughout the city. This immense cost would be better spent on services that will actually help folks improve their lives. The criminalization of human beings will only reinforce a feedback loop wherein unhoused folks are constantly driven from place to place without ever being provided with services they actually require to improve their situation. I genuinely hope you reconsider this proposal, and that you elicit community feedback from affected individuals in the future.

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    Mariah Wood almost 3 years ago

    I oppose this policy. As a public health professional I find it disheartening to see public health cited in the criminalization and displacement of our community's most vulnerable residents. The public health issue is a lack of affordable housing and services, not the homeless population. Requiring homeless individuals to relocate is destabilizing and will only make the situation worse for them and our city in the long run, as it will make it even harder for individuals to get back on their feet if they have to move where they live, or if they are criminalized for where they live. Oakland should be providing affordable housing for all homeless individuals, and encouraging developers to build affordable housing. Until then, provide sanitation and other services and let them live where they want.

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    Ann Janks almost 3 years ago

    I live in a house in District 3 near several encampments. I understand the concerns arising from having so many residents who have lost their housing. I strongly oppose the Encampment Management Policy. We need to find solutions to these problems that do not make our unhoused neighbors' challenges even worse. Please do not pass a policy to criminalize being homeless and strip our neighbors of basic human rights.

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    anna steiner almost 3 years ago

    I am writing to express my strong opposition to this policy. I echo the concerns so eloquently stated by legal experts: Homeless Action Center, Bay Area Legal Aid, East Bay Community Law Center. And, more importantly, the concerns expressed by the real experts, Stop EMP coalition members, Homeless Action Working Group and organizations informed and led by people with lived experience of street or vehicular homelessness in Oakland. These are the people who have been and will continue to be impacted by these policies. As a long-time Oakland resident (renter), public health professional and someone who has provided harm reduction services to West and North Oakland curbside communities for the past 5 years with Punks with Lunch, I am concerned that this policy will legitimize increased criminalization, harassment and further marginalization of individuals impacted by homelessness while doing nothing to support safe and supportive pathways to housing or wellness. I understand the feeling of urgency around this situation--we have created a public health emergency and perpetuated trauma and harm to our neighbors on the street. However this situation requires a thoughtful, long-term solution or a series of solutions that are informed by and responsive to the needs of those most impacted-not one that seeks to hide the problem. I don't have the solution but I do know that this is not it and we can do better. Oakland deserves it.

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    Heather Freinkel almost 3 years ago

    The Homeless Action Center strongly opposes this EMP because it is harmful, unconstitutional, and expensive.

    The policy mandates ongoing displacement, which causes immeasurable harm to the health and property of encampment residents. The policy violates the constitutional rights of encampment residents, inviting costly legal challenges. It violates CDC COVID-19 safety protocols, putting encampment residents and all Oaklanders at risk. It impedes service providers, preventing unsheltered people from accessing the services they need to exit homelessness.

    The policy fails to protect Black and Indigenous people who are disproportionately represented among Oakland's unsheltered residents, without providing any meaningful equity analysis.

    The disproportionately harms people with disabilities, who represent 42% of unsheltered people. Displacement and relegation to remote areas will severely harm people with limited mobility, mental health conditions, and chronic health conditions who depend on access to medical care to survive.

    Unsheltered people need housing and services, not constant "enforcement" and displacement. This policy will waste hundreds of thousands of dollars on repeatedly harassing and evicting people who have nowhere else to go. It is unconscionable both in humanitarian and economic terms.

    HAC opposes the proposed EMP and urges the Oakland City Council to prioritize services and housing rather than perpetual displacement and criminalization.

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    Tonya Love almost 3 years ago

    I'm writing in opposition of this proposal as it stand. I agree with the concerns raised by the HAWG committee which are as follows:
    • The Report and request to CC -- comprising 36 exhibits, some just posted on Friday -- have not been fully developed or analyzed by the LEC, and are not ready for Council action.
    •The Implementation Report and other documents were not completed and were never reviewed or analyzed by LEC members or the public.
    •The foundational survey and its report is primarily based on the 60% of responses from homeowners, who are largely White
    Only 11% of survey respondents were homeless or advocates, and their views are not adequately reflected in the report.
    •The comprehensive response of HAWG to the survey (representing over 200 participants) was totally ignored
    Implementation of the proposed policy and program VIOLATES the settled federal decision in 'Martin v Boise,' which mandates that removal of homeless from public property CANNOT be done unless adequate replacement accommodations are provided. (24-hour "temporary" shelter placement is not "adequate accommodation.")
    •Implementation of the proposed policy is in conflict with the Council's adoption of CDC Recommendations that "in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic, no closures or dispersal of encampments -- which will further expose the homeless and threaten general public health, should be carried out.

    Please follow HAWG recommendations
    Tonya Love
    District 7

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    Sasha Ellis almost 3 years ago

    Bay Area Legal Aid opposes the Proposed Policy, particularly because its implementation would result in: (1) unconstitutional seizures of personal property and due process violations; (2) increased criminalization of homelessness through greater policing, which would disproportionately harm communities of color; and (3) uprooting unhoused individuals from their community supports and burdening their ability to access essential services, especially during a pandemic.

    We urge the City Council to reject the Proposed Policy or, in the alternative, delay action until it has had the opportunity to ensure that the policy does not violate the constitutional rights of unhoused individuals in encampments, does not result in increased criminalization of homelessness or over-policing of people experiencing homelessness, has received input from the Homelessness Advisory Commission and other relevant stakeholders, and does not disrupt unhoused individuals’ access to critical supports and services.

    Bay Area Legal Aid has submitted an extensive comment with more discussion regarding these issues which, for those interested, can be read in its entirety here:

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    Terry Hill almost 3 years ago

    On the one hand, homelessness is a scandal rooted in unjust political and economic systems, and I urge the City of Oakland to leverage its resources and influence to provide immediate and long-term relief to those afflicted. On the other hand, allowing homeless encampments in city parks is not the answer. The contribution of these parks to community well-being should not be understated. They are spaces that bring together young and old, individuals and families, Oakland natives and recent arrivals, across the spectrums of race, ethnicity, and politics. Nearest me, Morcom Amphitheater of Roses is a testament to the vision of earlier generations and the out-of-work laborers who benefitted from Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. The children and frail elders who enjoy it now have to contend with broken beer bottles and human waste. The resources of city staff are overwhelmed by Herculean challenges. The volunteers, who were essential even before the arrival of homeless men, are now beginning to fade in discouragement. Once it’s despoiled, this city treasure may be lost for good.
    I urge you to adopt an Encampment Management Policy that prohibits encampments in city parks.

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    Atila Danku almost 3 years ago

    I am writing to express my full support for the proposed homeless encampment management policy. I am a 12 year resident of West Oakland living next to the encampment in Fitzgerald Park. 90% of the park is covered in tents, there has been drug dealing all day every day. There has been multiple shootings. Most recently 3 shootings within 24 hours! Neighbors on our small street have kids under 12 years old and everyone lives in fear. There has been fires, explosions, trash covering sidewalk/streets, threats of violence, actual violence, health and safety issues, hotwired electrical, black streets/sidewalks, no social distancing, etc. Small public parks are no place for the unhoused. They need to be located in larger spaces with city services to address their needs. These needs include, mental health services, drug rehab, sanitation, food, shelter, etc. Please pass the policy. It is long overdue. This has been a long and well thought out process. Pass it and start improving the situation for the housed and unhoused; let's be a model for other cities.

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    Yoka Verdoner almost 3 years ago

    I am writing to express my full support of the proposed changes to homeless encampment management. I am a resident living near the Morcom Rose Garden. As you may know, this park has been having problems for about a year with three men and they dog camping out there. These particular men spend their days and nights drinking, fighting, blocking stairways, leaving trash, and defecating and urinating wherever instead of using the public restrooms. They have been approached by outreach staff from the Homeless Department but have refused any kind of
    assistance. The are not disabled, except for substance abuse problems which they don't wish to address. The OPD is helpless.
    If the Encampment Management Policy now under consideration is adopted, it will need to provide tools to the OPD to enforce its provisions.
    I hope that the city will also move rapidly to provide space and amenities for homeless people to live until a better and more fundamental housing solution is arrived at.

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    Ramona Houston almost 3 years ago

    Thank you to the City Council and Life Enrichment Committee for doing their due diligence and drafting a policy that seeks to improve conditions for all Oaklanders. Living near Arroyo Viejo park in D6, I have been dismayed by the fires at homeless encampments that threaten the park and those who live nearby (plus dangerous for the folks living in the encampments!); the hypodermic needles left behind by those who hangout at the encampments (even if they actually have homes); the use of the creek bank as a toilet, and the amount of trash that ends up in the creek. We learned that the individuals camped by Arroyo Viejo creek were offered services but since they declined them, the lack of a policy prevented the city from being able to act. The proposed policy would allow the city to balance the homeless person's need to set up shelter with the need to protect waterways, parks and, residences. Another problematic site in East Oakland is the East Bay Greenway near the Coliseum BART station. That greenway should provide a safe way for cyclists and pedestrians to get to and from BART but the large encampments almost completely obstruct parts of the path. The proposed policy would allow the city to intervene and require that bikeways as well as sidewalks and roadways remain clear. The policy would make it safer for those living in encampments by improving sanitation and public health. Please adopt and implement this policy.

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    Nancy Friedman almost 3 years ago

    I am fully in support of the proposed changes to homeless encampment management. While I support the unhoused's rights in many ways, allowing people to camp/live/sleep where ever they choose has made life much worse for many others in the community. This includes Oakland's public parks, which are needed more than ever, given the restrictions the pandemic has placed on all of our lives. I have been a volunteer at Oakland's Morcom Rose Garden for many years, and the three to five men who have lived there for a year plus have severe substance abuse problems that lead to constant garbage thrown on paths, drunken brawls, fights that have sent one or more to the hospital, smashed bottles, frightening yelling that keeps neighbors awake most nights, feces and soiled toilet paper scattered throughout the park, and the threat of further disease and infection. Valuable police time is spent attending to the more violent problems there; valuable volunteer time is spent cleaning up the continual messes instead of pruning/maintaining the roses, the City Gardeners are deployed to attend to some of these problems instead of maintenance of the parks greenery, and other city offices are called continually by neighbors and users of the park to address these problems. While there is no perfect or single solution to the multiple issues leading to homelessness, adopting this proposal will hopefully begin to address some issues. Thank you for considering this.

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    Hilary Nevis almost 3 years ago

    I’d like to thank the City Council for reviewing and supporting this policy. I had a hard time sitting through the September 21 meeting, this issue has become so polarized, just like everything else in this country, and I believe that as citizens of the Town, we are better than that and can work together to solve our community’s problems. There are things that the people who support and oppose this policy can all agree on, like how we need to provide people with decent housing fit for shelter of human beings, and encampments are not that. There was also a shared outpouring of compassion for people who live in encampments, we all pay a fortune to live in this City and it is easy to imagine a scenario in which we couldn’t, and then what? We all see everyday what comes after.

    No one likes bad neighbors, and as a housed person, I don’t believe someone is a bad neighbor just because they are on the street, but I am sure an unhoused mother does not want to live next to a drunken man who beats up his disabled neighbor on a regular basis (story from September 21 meeting, Rose Garden Area), or by a man who decides to light trash on fire to clean up (29th Street Fire in Underpass This is why police involvement is an important aspect to incorporate into this policy. Are jails for taxpayers only? They should be for any community member who violates the law, which exists to ensure equality and protect peoples’ liberties and rights.

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    Jane Bicek almost 3 years ago

    Thanks to the Life Enrichment Committee for deciding on a policy that restricts where unhoused people in Oakland can set up encampments. I am a longtime volunteer and neighbor of Morcom Rose Garden, 700 Jean Street. We have several men residing there, having loud drunken parties, throwing glass bottles, beating each other up. This place used to be a quiet, peaceful retreat. Hopefully a change in policy will convince these unhoused residents to accept help from Operation Dignity and move to a more appropriate location. Jane Bicek