In early September, a large fire burned through a quarter of The Village, a homeless encampment in East Oakland. But in the eyes of many of the residents, the fire was the least of their worries.
What started as a “safe haven” where nonprofits built tiny homes to house the homeless has devolved, they say, into a barely-livable and overcrowded encampment. According to residents, the day-to-day living conditions there include piles of decaying trash and clothes blending into one, fires that leap tent-to-tent every other month and what one person described as rats “the size of your calves.”
And they’ve got another problem, too: In November, The Village residents will have to move so an onpass overhead can be retrofitted. But residents still don’t know where they’ll go; city officials have yet to announce a relocation plan.