Oakland weighs banning homeless camps near homes, businesses, schools

As Oakland grapples with the worst homeless crisis in its history, elected officials could restrict the unsheltered from sleeping in parks, and near homes, businesses and schools.

The City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on the new policy, which will designate where people can set up encampments. The city would provide garbage service and sanitation and require makeshift structures to comply with fire and building codes.

City leaders said the new policy is a more humane approach to dealing with the unfolding crisis on Oakland’s streets because city support at the encampments means people won’t live in squalor. More than 3,200 people are unsheltered out of a total homeless population of more than 4,000.

The policy comes as residents and businesses have complained about the blight and public safety issues from encampments. Residents have protested drug dealing, fires and prostitution at tent clusters in their neighborhoods. Businesses say that

Read More