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East Bay Homeless Living On Caltrans Property May Be Entitled To Cash

Street Sense Media | Photo by Rodney Choice
Creative Commons
Claims processing has opened up for East Bay homeless living under freeways who had their property removed by Caltrans

Homeless people in the East Bay may be entitled to compensation for belongings confiscated during unannounced cleanup sweeps.

If your stuff was removed by an East Bay cleanup crew between 2014 to 2019, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) may owe you money.

That’s because non-profit advocates filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of the homeless in 2016, claiming Caltrans violated their Fourth Amendment rights.

Instead of duking it out in court, Caltrans and the advocates agreed to settle.

In February, an Alameda County Superior Court judge approved a $2 million settlement against the agency, including $1.3 million, which is allocated to people who had their property destroyed. The rest of the money is slated to go towards the nonprofit organization Homeless Action Center.

If you were one of those people, you may be entitled to $200 to $5,500. The settlement also requires Caltrans to start posting notices 48 hours before future sweeps. The claim filing process opened up last week. And the settlement is in effect for seven years.

Here's a link to the claim form.

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.