Six people already had moved their RVs into the city-owned lot at 71st Avenue and San Leandro Street by Junbe 24, including Jade Koga, who has been homeless for about a year, living in an RV with her four dogs. Before moving to the site, Koga was living along Edes Avenue near 85th Avenue, which is lined with dozens of RVs, some running, some not, and scattered with trash and debris.
As Oakland’s sanctioned lot fills up, the city will work to clear the sprawling encampment there.
Living along Edes, she said, was “a nightmare”; she constantly feared that someone would break in. She said having a safe place to park her RV could help her turn her life around.
“From here, I’m going to hopefully get a job and get back on my feet,” Koga said in an interview.
The “Safe Parking” program is modeled after Oakland’s Community Cabin program, Mayor Libby Schaaf said at a news conference, referring to the program which temporarily houses homeless people in Tuff Sheds on security-patrolled lots while connecting them with available resources. Potential residents of the RV park will be invited to live there for up to six months at a time.
But unlike the Tuff Shed sites, there will not be staff on hand who will work with the RV residents to get them into more permanent housing, she said. But the RV dwellers will be assessed through Alameda County’s coordinated entry system upon moving in to see what services and housing options are available to them, Schaaf added.
Similar safe parking programs have popped up throughout the region. Mountain View and Santa Clara County teamed up last year on a pilot program to provide overnight shelter for RV owners in parking lots, and Palo Alto is considering a similar program.
To read more click here.