Report From the Street: Vehicle residents Face Eviction on September 30
In this video Yesica, a resident of 8th & Harrison as well as a local organizer and video journalist, gives us updates on what’s been going on:
The City’s Homeless Response Team* came again this week to pickup trash, but instead took only two shopping carts belonging to a resident who was asleep. (*More information to come on these weekly “cleanups” by HRT)
Some residents were given a paper notice that a Safe Parking site will be opening, but with no address, opening date or further info about the program. No enough information, but a deadline for eviction September 30.
The community here has existed for over 3 years at the intersection of 8th and Harrison in Berkeley, many of them came here after being evicted from the Berkeley Marina in 2018.
The Safe Parking site is a congregate shelter where RVs will be packed together. So far we know that residents at the site will be provided only a low-wattage extension cord for lights and there will be no septic hookups for the RVs. Not all vehicles can make the drive to Richmond to dump sewage due to needed mechanical repairs or other financial constrains to move the vehicle.
The Safe Parking site only has space for 40 vehicles. In 2019 the Berkeley Point-In-Time Count estimated at least 161 RVs and 157 cars/vans used as vehicle homes in Berkeley. Yesica says these numbers have only grown. Where will the other resident go?
After September 30 and the opening of the Safe Parking site, city of Berkeley officials have confirmed they will return to full enforcement of all parking regulations including: the 72hr parking ban, enforcement of expired registration and tags, the overnight (2-5am) commercial vehicle ban, and possibly also a vehicle weight restriction in West Berkeley limiting all parking for vehicles bigger than an SUV (over 3 tons).
The 9th Circuit ruling Martin vs. Boise requires that cities provide alternative shelter options for unhoused residents before evicting them from their place of residence on the street. Once the Safe Parking site opens, the enforcement of municipal codes will dramatically increase the obstacles that vehicles resident face, making it nearly impossible to live in a vehicle in Berkeley.
UPDATE: Residents Wake up to Eviction Notices
Sept. 24, West Berkeley --The upcoming street cleaning sweeps will effectively function as an eviction notice for the entire community of about 50 vehicle homes in the Gilman district.
WHERE WILL PEOPLE GO? How is this a solution?