OAKLAND (KPIX) — Two weeks after the City of Oakland banned homeless encampments at Lakeside Park, a handful have moved back or simply refused to leave at all.
“They won’t be there for long,” Assistant to the City Administrator Joe DeVries said.
On February 14th and 15th, the city took a hard stance against homeless encampments around Lake Merritt. Two dozen people were displaced that day. In some cases, tents were thrown out.
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DeVries says the initial numbers look good. 17 people accepted housing and are no longer sleeping in the park or on the street and seven refused services. He maintained that half of the park has been free of encampments since the initial clearing took place.
The city offered housing to everyone sleeping here. They were told they could choose between an emergency shelter, transitional housing or community cabins.
“I don’t want to stay with nobody,” Adam Diop said Friday. He’s still camping in the park and doesn’t want to leave.
“Whatever they do, I’m not going anywhere because I don’t have any other place to go,” Diop said.
“They’re coming around putting up signs saying clear out or pay for a place, but I’m thinking it’s a public place. So I’ll stay because I don’t have anywhere else to go,” said Jessie Bryant. He has been camping at Lake Merritt for two months now.
While Bryant said he’d consider taking one of Oakland’s housing options, Diop insisted he would prefer to stick it out on his own.
The city says notices will be placed on the remaining tents in the next 48 hours. They will be given 72 hours to leave until the city comes back to clear them out again.