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BERKELEY (KCBS) – The University of California, Berkeley has hired a social worker to help the homeless in People’s Park.

KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier reports in Monday morning’s Matier and Ross Column the social worker will have a two-year assignment at $92,000 a year.

People’s Park, just off of Telegraph Avenue, has been a battleground between the university, the homeless and the city since it was acquired by UC back in the 1960s.

New Chancellor Carol Christ has been under mounting pressure to do more about the university’s student housing shortage and has signaled a willingness to build housing at People’s Park.

Christ has indicated any development could include supportive services for homeless.

The job of the social workers will be to assess what those services might be.

UC officials said at least nine violent crimes were reported in the park in the past year.

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