An innovative program to offer secure storage containers for the possessions of Berkeley’s homeless could cost nearly $350,000 a year in staffing, along with $50,000 in start-up costs.
Let me begin this brief note by first setting aside all the bitterness and anger I feel towards recent actions you have taken against me personally as a member of the homeless community. I am commanded to “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (Ephesians 5:1) and this I shall attempt to do.
I wanted to camp at least once at Liberty City when I learned how it had formed, partly because I wanted to see what was really up, and partly because I wanted to meet the participants I had heard so much about, and partly because I had been hidden homeless two years, myself, and the things bound up in protest resonated strongly with my own sentiments while I was without permanent housing in Berkeley. So I borrowed a sleeping bag and mat from a friend, and I headed over to check things out after letting a few people know I was coming.
Update: Three arrests were made while the encampment was packing up, according to Berkeley city spokesman Matthai Chakko. Chakko said he expected all three to be cited and released today.
Berkeley police responded to a stabbing at the recently established Old City Hall homeless encampment and arrested a man late Thursday morning.
Tuesday night’s council meeting ended abruptly with a split vote to adopt new laws proponents say will help clean up Berkeley streets and provide storage and improved restroom facilities for the homeless.
At its Dec. 1 meeting, the Berkeley City Council is set to kick off with a special 5:30 p.m. session on affordable housing, followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m. The action calendar includes two appeals related to a Durant Avenue housing project, a look at the Police Review Commission’s report about last December’s protests, and a proposal from Councilman Jesse Arreguín to expand the city’s services for the homeless. The meeting is set to take place in the Longfellow Middle School auditorium, at 1500 Derby St. Scroll down to see the highlights and learn how to follow along. (more…)
Do storage lockers magically appear on Tom Bates’ order? Do angels from on high descend with public restrooms on Linda Maio’s wish? Is it common for shower facilities to construct themselves from piping and tile without human intervention?
Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates was quoted on Channel 7 News as saying, “It’s not an effort to criminalize people, it’s an effort to try to make things more civil.”
The Berkeley City Council passed a series of measures early Wednesday morning to address issues raised by the behavior of some members of the homeless population, including a new rule that will limit the amount of space on which people can spread their stuff on the sidewalk.
Time and again, Berkeley voters have made it clear that they reject the criminalization of the homeless, many of whom are veterans suffering from mental trauma and LGBT youth kicked out of their homes because of who they love.
It is zero hour for the defense of the right of homeless people in Berkeley to simply be.