BERKELEY (KCBS)— Members of Berkley’s homeless population say they are upset that the city routinely forces them out of makeshift encampments only to relocate and then get kicked out again. However, the city says it has an extensive program to help get the homeless off the streets and receive the help they need.
Paul, who says he’s been homeless for years, spent the night in an abandoned lot at 2nd and Jones Street in Berkeley near the railroad tracks.
Recently he’s camped out at two other locations, but he said he and others were moved out by police in Albany and Berkeley.
He likened the situation of being moved around by the authorities to being treated like “animals”.
Frankie said the homeless get a bad rap from residents and businesses.
“Not everybody be stealing like they accuse us of doing.”
Many of the area’s homeless called the Albany Bulb their home, but were told to leave. They moved to Berkeley, where city spokesperson Matthai Chakko said the city has extensive programs to help the homeless.
“We have drop-in centers, emergency shelters meal programs, permanent housing, transitional housing, alcohol and drug rehab, employment services, advocacy for benefits, so we do that no matter where people are,” he said.
Even so, people like Paul and Frankie wanted to stay in the homes they built without being told to leave.