A fire tore through The Village on Friday, destroying tents belonging to 15 people and causing further concerns about the safety of homeless encampments.
Funds raised by the tax would go toward solutions for Oakland’s increasing homelessness epidemic, and a quarter would be earmarked for addressing blight and illegal dumping.
Captain Tony Jones of the Oakland Police Department spoke at a city council meeting in September about the number of abandoned cars in East Oakland. A large number of the homeless people who live in their cars have complained that their cars, which serve as their shelters, are being towed.
Residents living under the 12th Street bridge stave off an encampment clearing while residents at another homeless encampment, “The Village,” prepare to relocate.
“Fred Finch is a place of hope. I was 16 when I came to them, and they gave me a place to stay and job training. If I had not found Fred Finch, I would be dead. People who have experienced trauma the way I had for years need to be reminded they are needed in society,” said Desi Cortijo, a former recipient of services from the center.
At a time when the federal government does not support climate action, climate experts say local city efforts can mitigate warming and help the nation. Oakland has taken a lead role in local climate initiatives.
Life is hard enough as it is for Oakland’s homeless encampment residents. Adding to the long list of adversities, however, is petty theft and other low-level crime. And that’s just the beginning of it.