Berkeley Library to host panel on homelessness Saturday

A sign set up by the Old City Hall homeless camp. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
A sign set up by a homeless camp outside Old City Hall in November 2015. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

Homelessness in Berkeley has been an ongoing and controversial issue for a long time. The Berkeley Public Library Homeless Task Force is hosting a panel discussion titled “Homelessness in Berkeley” on Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Central Library at 2090 Kittredge St., from 2-4 p.m.

The panel includes experts on the subject, local service providers and case workers discussing their work in the streets, and people who have experienced homelessness sharing the reality of life on the street.

Read more about homelessness in Berkeley.

Nationally known advocate Dr. Julie Winkelstein, MLIS, PhD, will moderate the program. She will be joined by Sam Davis, UC Professor Emeritus, Department of Architecture; Gwen Austin, Development Associate/Community Builder-Organizer, Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS); Eve Ahmed, City of Berkeley, Homeless Outreach, Berkeley Mental Health Adult Services; Joseph, advocate, Berkeley resident, formerly homeless; Sharon Alford, Coordinated Entry System/Berkeley Food and Housing Project; and Rayven Wilson (tentative), former Berkeley High student, now at SFSU.


Panelists will provide a broad background on homelessness, as well as specific conditions in Berkeley “in order to demystify this important community issue and share proven solutions that have already worked in other cities,” according to the library.

The library says there will be plenty of time for discussion and Q&A, and a reception with the panelists follows the discussions, including tabling by various organizations.

The Berkeley Public Library offers several programs for the homeless, including a new one called Community Outreach in the Library (COIL) that brings advocacy groups into the library. Berkeley Food and Housing Project and YEAH! have been coming in weekly for several weeks, according to the library, and the library says it hopes to bring the Berkeley Free Clinic on board as well.

For more information on Saturday’s panel discussion, visit Berkeley Public Library’s website, or call Isobel Schneider at 510-981-6150.

Read Berkeleyside’s Berkeley Homelessness Project coverage

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