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Crosscurrents

Oakland's outdoor 'safe havens' for homeless residents offer toilets, trash pickup

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Liza Veale
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KALW News
A tent encampment in Oakland

 

A recent county-wide survey in Alameda reported that homelessness has increased 39 percent over the last two years.

While the underlying issues can't be eliminated simply and quickly, Oakland is trying to alleviate some of the problems within the growing number of encampments.

 

One short-term response is the city’s plan to build “safe havens” — sites where homeless residents can camp securely and have access to portable toilets, sanitation services and regular garbage pickup.

 

To better understand this plan KALW's Ben Trefny spoke with Joe DeVries, an assistant city administrator involved with the city’s homeless initiatives.  

 

"83 percent of the homeless in Alameda Count were housed in the very neighborhood where they are homeless. These are our neighbors who have lost their housing. They have community roots, they have connections, and they are not going away."