OAKLAND (CBS SF) — City of Oakland crews on Thursday cleared out a large, problem-plagued homeless camp in east Oakland that was the site of two large fires and at least one homicide last fall.
City officials said in a statement that over the past 10 days, the 39 unsheltered residents that had been living in the encampment at East 12th Street and 23rd Avenue have been moving into the newest “Community Cabin” site, the city’s fourth, at 1449 Miller Ave., about two blocks away.READ MORE: SF Restaurant Apologizes for Denying Service to Armed, On-Duty Police Officers
The city said that as of Thursday about 14 of the residents had moved in to the new site and said there are enough cabins and beds to accommodate all 39 of the people who have been living at the encampment.
City officials said crews on Thursday began removing the tons of accumulated debris and abandoned vehicles at the site and will soon close the encampment to accommodate construction of the $10 million 23rd Avenue Bridge seismic retrofit project.
The city said the Community Cabin sites provide a safer and healthier respite from the streets, where unsheltered residents receive wrap-around services to help them end their unsheltered status, including on-site housing-focused case managers who connect participants to vital needs.
It said those include links to healthcare, mental health, and addiction recovery services, links to the mainstream homeless services system and help in securing benefits, acquiring a California ID and seeking jobs.
The city said its goal is for people to move in, receive services and move on to the next step on their path to housing.
City officials said the program is completely voluntary and people can come and go at all hours.
The city said the sites are designed to have low barriers with minimal rules, although participants are asked to abide by a code of conduct that is designed to maintain a healthy and safe community.READ MORE: International Travelers Brace For New COVID Testing Requirement
The site at 1449 Miller Ave. is the city’s fourth Community Cabin.
The three others are at 6th and Castro streets, 27th Street and Northgate Avenue and at Lake Merritt.
The city said those three have served a total of 222 people and currently are serving 73 people.
City officials said they believe the Community Cabin model has been an effective and compassionate intervention focused on increasing people’s health, stability, dignity, and safety while service providers intensively work with people to help end their unsheltered status.
The city said at the site at 6th and Castro streets, which recently was shut down, 76 percent of the 74 homeless people who stayed there are now living in either permanent or transitional housing.
A fire at the camp at East 12th Street and 23rd Avenue on Nov. 2 destroyed 15 to 20 dwellings there and another fire on Sept. 11 temporarily displaced 37 people who were living there.
No one was injured in that fire but firefighters who responded to it found the body of a man who apparently had been dead for several days.
In an unrelated death at that location, 51-year-old Marcus Haynes was fatally shot on Oct. 22.MORE NEWS: Northbound San Tomas Expressway in Santa Clara Closed by 'Major Injury' Accident
© 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed