© 2022 KALW 91.7 FM Bay Area
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Oakland Moves To Close 'Home Depot' Homeless Encampment

The City of Oakland was scheduled to open its third RV safe parking site Monday, but unhoused residents remain at their encampment. KALW’s Sarah Lai Stirland reports.

The new site is meant to replace a homeless encampment in the Fruitvale District on High Street next to the Home Depot. About 74 people live there as well as in three nearby tiny-houses.


There are portapotties, but little else provided. The existing encampment is filled with flies, and garbage, furniture, and burnt out vehicles are strewn across the lot. 


The plan is to clear the space and move the residents across the street. The new site has room for 41 RVs with electricity, drinking water, and other services. The city will staff the site around the clock with on-site security.


As of mid-Monday, however, there wasn’t any sign of any city workers at the encampment, according to resident Maria Fuentes.


“I still don't know how they're going to decide who's going over there though, because supposedly today's the day that people were going to start moving over there. There's been nobody here that's been told you've been chosen to go over there. So we don't understand how that's going to work.”


A city official says outreach workers will help people living in structures other than RVs find alternative options. Oakland plans to close the existing encampment “not later” than mid March.


For KALW News, I’m Sarah Lai Stirland.

Sarah Lai Stirland is a freelance journalist and editor living in the South Bay. Her reporting background is in technology, science writing, law and policy. For the past few years, she's written about issues related to aging.