Civil Rights Attorney Andrea Henson Choosing to Sleep in Homeless Encampment to Protect Clients
May 04, 2022 5:50 p.m.
Berkeley, CA —
In the wake of a major encampment eviction at the Ashby Offramp this morning by Cal-Trans, local attorney with the East Bay Community Law Center and homelessness rights advocate with Where Do We Go Berkeley Andrea Henson has announced she will be spending tonight and possibly several nights after, sleeping in a tent on the streets of Berkeley in order to ensure her clients who have been displaced are safe from harm.
Her decision comes on the heels of a 9th circuit court of appeals ruling in favor of Cal-Trans being allowed to sweep the Ashby area, notices were posted declaring eviction between 5/4 and 5/6. A majority of the encampment has been removed. However, Ashby residents with no place to go have dispersed throughout the city many of whom landing in the "2nd and Page" encampment.
Immediately after moving to this new location several neighboring businesses and their security guards
began harassing some of Andreas clients. "I won't move until it is safe for women from the encampment" says Henson referring to two clients in particular. One of whom was told by a security guard she would go to jail and have her dogs taken away, and the other who attempted to move to the city of Emeryville but was told by Emeryville PD that she was not welcome in town and would need to leave.
Andreas clients, and the women in particular, have expressed their concerns about being sexually assaulted once broken from their community. The City Of Berkeley has offered some shelter spaces but several people are unable to enter for varying reasons such as disabilities or possession of dogs.
Where Do We Go Berkeley is a local advocacy non-profit.