Oakland opens new small, family-friendly village near Lake Merritt for city’s homeless people
The rainy weather seemed a fitting backdrop to illustrate the need for the new village of Oakland.
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“Lakeview Village” will provide warmth and shelter, and a security measure, to 65 homeless residents currently living in nearby tent camps.
“This is a very important intervention for the homeless because winter is upon us, the rains are upon us,” said Nikki Fortunato Bas, president of the Oakland City Council. âWe have to get people out of our streets and get them into these shelters. “
According to the most recent estimate, more than 4,000 homeless people live in Oakland, in conditions often far worse than what this new community can offer.
âI have spent a lot of winters here,â said Nino Parker, who told us he founded the tent camp at the site in 2018. âThis is my first winter here that I haven’t been out to. in the rain, but it’s very miserable. “
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Lakeview Village will be a step up from the âcommunity cabinsâ already in Oakland.
Here there will be clean water, flush toilets, other support services and life-improving equipment.
These tiny homes are definitely an improvement over what Oakland has built before, including working electricity and a built-in heater
Each unit in Lakeview Village will be single occupancy, unless someone has a partner or friend they wish to live with.
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And although this is transitional housing – a step towards a permanent home – residents can stay as long as they need.
“We have no time limit,” said site manager Kevin Cockerham of the Housing Consortium of the East Bay. “We want to keep them here until they achieve their goals, and then we’ll send them.”
There is also the sad reality that for everyone who gets a place in the new cottage, there is still a lot more.
âWe have to do more,â Parker said. “I just hope that’s a door opening around Oakland.”
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