The City of Oakland wants to criminalize homelessness

Posted by on Sep 30, 2020 in Economic Justice Committee Blog | No Comments

The Life Enrichment Committee of the Oakland City Council has proposed “Encampment Management Policy” that will effectively criminalize homelessness in Oakland, leaving 10,000 residents with no place to go  Here’s the analysis from ShelterOak:

Among other issues, the proposed policy would label any of the following as justifications for intervention, including forced removal:

  • Living in proximity to public resources such as schools, businesses, parks;
  • Living away from public resources, but in proximity to a right-of-way, lane of traffic, bike lane, or ADA access point;
  • Living in an encampment that allocates any more than 144 square feet of living space per resident;
  • Living in an encampment that lacks access to proper human waste disposal;
  • Using “combustible materials” to prepare food;
  • Keeping tents or other housing structures within 6 feet of neighbors;
  • Lacking resources to control animals and vermin;
  • Living in—or being perceived to live in—an area where human and drug traffickers choose to conduct illegal business.

The distinction between “high-sensitivity” and “low-sensitivity” areas is specious. Regardless of which category a homeless resident’s encampment falls in, they would be subject to the authority of the Encampment Management Team, simply for the act of living.

On Thursday, October 1st, you can ask Mayor Libby Schaaf what Oakland plans to do to relocate 10,000 homeless Oakland residents safely: https://www.facebook.com/MayorLibbySchaaf/photos/a.1572210376398106/2770315439920921

This proposal comes before the full City Council on October 20th.

More background: Oakland Officials Present New Homeless Policy, Faces Criticism from Advocates

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