Oakland Homeless Camp cleared out

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Oakland Homeless Camp cleared out

PHOTO BY THE WHITE HOUSE/FLICKR

PHOTO BY THE WHITE HOUSE/FLICKR

PHOTO BY THE WHITE HOUSE/FLICKR

By Pricilla Martinez, CONTRIBUTOR

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A homeless encampment known as “The Village” in East Oakland, once sanctioned by the city, has started to be cleared out this past week.
The site on East 12th Street and 23rd Street of East Oakland made news in September for a large fire as well as a body found on site. A homicide inside the camp in October was followed by another large fire in November.
The site is situated under an overpass leading to off-ramps for Highway 880. The city of Oakland has plans to provide a $10 million retrofitting of the overpass, which requires removal of the camp in order for construction to begin.
On Jan. 31, city crews began the removal as longtime Village residents watched from across the street. The Village residents have been notified by the city about the removal several months beforehand.
Many of them watched from across the street as their homes were being torn down without certainty of what to do next.
Community Cabin housing, a housing program organized by the city, is being offered to those displaced by the removal of the camp. The program is located a few blocks away on Miller Ave., which may be utilized by many of those who have no choice but to relocate for the time being.
This is the fourth Community Cabin neighborhood organized by the city. City officials claim to have enough space at the community cabin for all 39 of those living in the encampment.
Similar to the tuff shed homes provided by the city that can be found near Lake Merritt, these and the other Community Cabin neighborhoods claim to provide a clean and safe environment for the homeless with resources to get the help they need to find more permanent housing.
The city plans to spend an estimated $4.5 million to operate these Community Cabin Sites, according to the City of Oakland Website.
Crews are clearing out the area in sections, with much to clean up and expect to have the area completely cleared out by the end of this week.