The city of Berkeley has doubled its capacity for emergency storm shelter beds this week, following a council directive to get more homeless individuals indoors, and will make those beds available through Monday night in light of current weather conditions.
In one of his first acts as mayor, Jesse Arreguín is proposing to overhaul the way Berkeley addresses homelessness, including rescinding the law restricting people to only occupying a small section of the sidewalk.
The city cleared out a homeless encampment that had set up just north of City Hall Friday at around 5:15 a.m. The move came the day after the city said feces were spread, over a period of 24 hours, at various places on or near City Hall. The city also reported problematic behavior from campers including public masturbation and offensive chalk messages on the sidewalks.
Occupants of a protest camp outside the city of Berkeley’s homeless services intake center in South Berkeley this week criticized the way the city is allocating aid to people on the streets.
In a strongly worded letter, the U.S. Department of Justice has warned the city of Berkeley that a lawsuit could be coming over the city’s “interference” with USPS plans to sell its downtown post office on Allston Way.
Just before 5 a.m. Tuesday, U.S. Post Office inspectors cleared the protester encampment on the steps and on the side of the downtown Berkeley Post Office. Protesters from First They Came for the Homeless and the Berkeley Post Office Defenders had occupied part of the post office property for over 17 months.
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.
For the last 19 nights, Mike Zint, 47, has been sleeping sitting up in a chair in front of the Staples store at 2352 Shattuck Ave. He has set up vigil in downtown Berkeley to protest the “privatization” of the U.S. Postal Service, as well as chronic homelessness in the United States.