After being homeless for over five years, I am no longer surprised by shabby treatment at shelters. The Berkeley Community Resource Center is a happy exception.
Starting this fall, some unhoused people in Berkeley could spend every day and night in one downtown Berkeley basement without missing a meal, a shower or a full night’s sleep.
Dorothy Bryant, who was honored by the Berkeley City Council in 2017, died Dec. 21 from complications related to cancer.
Places that once served hot meals — and offered seconds — will now hand out boxed meals. Daytime drop-in services are being cut back because of COVID-19. It will also be harder to take a shower and do laundry.
Berkeley’s extended emergency shelter will move to the North Berkeley Senior Center for two weeks, then the Frances Albrier Community Center for the next two.
As the City Council moves out of the property, homeless people will move in, for up to 45 nights this winter.
The emergency shelter, which is open until April, offers free Wi-Fi, plenty of places to charge phones, indoor toilets, hot breakfasts and storage.
City workers also knocked on tents and talked to people to hand out 560 kits with hand sanitizer and information about COVID-19.
Fifty-two homeless people settled into their new bunk beds in the Veterans Building on Monday night.
Double Helping Hands aims to provide delicious food for people living on the streets and to help restaurants struggling with a precipitous drop in business.