Map of Homelessness in Berkeley

During November  2017 a team of us began to undertake a research project to attempt to document all the homeless camps and sites, as well as people living in vehicles, throughout the city of Berkeley, as well as in adjacent areas in North Oakland and Emeryville. (Eventually, we plan to cover the whole city of Oakland as well…but this will take some time…and if we are very ambitious…maybe we’ll expand to San Francisco! )|

See our map here:

In order to do this research, we set out to drive, walk or bicycle  every single street in Berkeley and adjacent areas. In addition, we expect that there are some homeless people setting up camps in Tilden Park and other regional parks in the hills.  We will try to explore the parks to see if we can find any such, but they may be well hidden and not easy to find.  Some of us have found such camps in the past,  in Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve and in the area just above the Cal Stadium.

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Bus at 5th Street and Camelia

 

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Bus with Utah License plate, Grayson Avenue

 

A homeless camp/site is here defined any place that one or more homeless people has set up a tent or belongings which involves regular appropriation of public space for purposes of residence/shelter. Simply bedding down at a diffferent random place on the sidewalk each day does not count as a “site” under this definition since it is not a fixed location.

In contrast to homeless research projects which are more needs-based, focusing on the numbers of individuals or their specific needs,  this approach is more geographical and visually based, focusing on the impact of homeless camps/cars on neighborhoods and communities.

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Man working on RV with pile of bikes beside, near Berkeley Transfer Station

 

Hence, rather than documenting individual persons, we are attempting to document fixed locations and/or actual physical vehicles which are used as residences in public places.

Some may point out that people living in RVs in the city, may not be “homeless”, but might simply be travelers or retirees, here temporarily.  As we see it, the issue of which vehicle dwellers are homeless and which are not, is not a black and white issue but one with shades of grey.  As well, regardless their own view of their vehicle and whether they feel homeless or housed in the vehicle,  the fact is that anyone living in a vehicle on public streets ( as opposed to in a public campground or state park or other area where camping is permitted) is in essence creating the same problem for neighborhoods and the city.  They are appropriating public spaces for private use, and putting a residence in a place where, according to city planning everywhere in developed nations, a residence was never intended to be.

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Bus on 9th near Dwight

 

To support the visual story, photos of all camps/sites and vehicles are included. Since vehicles can change location, license plate numbers are included to prevent duplication.

Some observers have objected to a research project such as this, arguing that it puts a spotlight on vulnerable people, by publicizing locations of camps and/or vehicle dwellers.  We understand the sensitivity of this issue, but we disagree that having less information, or less publicly available information, is preferable.  We believe that many of the problems related to homelessness, are related to lack of information, lack of research, inadequate study of multiple facets of this complex problem.  So we believe that as regards the quandary of homelessness,  it’s always better to have more rather than less information.

Some observers argue that homeless are made more vulnerable by having their campsites mapped or vehicle license plates shown.  However, we believe it is rather disingenuous to suggest that homeless camps/vehicle dwellers are not a problem for cities or neighborhoods if such information is not available.  The fact is that homeless camps and vehicle dwellers (some more than others) result in an absolutely enormous number of complaints to police and public works agencies, in cities all across the US, and the East Bay is no exception.  City leaders in the East Bay and San Francisco have shown themselves exceptionally tolerant to homeless persons, in spite of  multiple homeless camp situations involving ongoing problems with garbage, blight, nuisance,  impeded sidewalks or roadways, criminal behavior (eg assaults, theft), stolen property, fires, vermin, hazardous materials, public safety hazards, and more.

As well, the unfortunate facts are that very few municipalities have adequate designated places for the homeless to stay, which are accepted both by the homeless and the community, so the result is a constant tension between housed residents and the homeless as homeless people set up camps or seek parking spots in cities.

Finally, a point we’ll make throughout our work on this issue is that we believe the problem of homelessness is not only a problem for the homeless themselves, but is also a problem for neighborhoods and cities.  Therefore it’s an important part of the work to keep highlighting the ways that homelessness effects communities and cities, particularly the more negative effects.

Without doing extensive work and/or interviews which our team did not have time for, it is very difficult to verify that any of the mapped are definitely being used as habitations. Hence, just because a vehicle is included in our map, should not be taken to imply it’s being used as a habitation/dwelling.

However, we have come up with 18 indicators which suggest the use of vehicles as residences. The more indicators are present, the more likely the vehicle is a residence. Likelihood of mapped vehicles being used as homes ranges from merely possible in a few cases to virtually certain in many.

Eighteen Indicators that a Vehicle may be being used to live in

  • Vehicle remains at the same location and does not appear to be driven much. Or, alternately, the vehicle is noted at locations further apart than seem consistent with ownership by a housed resident.
  • Vehicle is a van or RV with windows opaqued or blocked with curtains or other coverings –particularly when the window coverings are crudely made, such as with tinfoil or towels.
  • Vehicle appears, through windows where visible, to be full of belongings and/or to contain items used for living such as mattress.
  • Debris or items like shopping carts appear/accumulate around the vehicle.
  • A person or people loiter around the vehicle, perhaps with the vehicle door open.
  • Vehicle is parked in one of the areas/corridors where living in vehicles or existence of homeless camps is more frequent.
  • Vehicle has belongings on top or attached to it.
  • Vehicle is derelict,  dirty, or broken down in appearance.
  • Vehicle is near/accompanied by other vehicles that also appear to be used to live in.
  • In an area where some streets require parking permits, vehicle lacks residential parking permit.
  • A person or people have been seen near/in the vehicle at night, or lights are visible inside the vehicle at night.
  • Vehicle has been seen at another area where homeless camps/living in vehicles is frequent.
  • Person/s associated with the vehicle look rather more like “homeless” people than area residents (subjective).
  • Vehicle has out of state license plates and/or no license plates and/or expired registration.
  • Vehicle is parked in commercial/industrial area during hours when businesses in those areas are closed.
  • Vehicle has been repurposed in a way that is consistent with use as a habitation — eg, a U Haul truck with added windows, solar panels.  A school bus with an “addition” or skylights.
  • Person/s are working on the vehicle while it is parked in a commercial/industrial area.
  • When parked in a residential neighborhood, vehicle is not parked in front of residences, or is parked next to fence or park, school, large apartment building, etc.

By contrast, these are some indications that the vehicle (van or RV) is not being used as a residence:

  • The van or RV is parked in a residential area parked in front of a residence.
  • The van or RV is in good condition or new, or a comparatively more expensive type.
  • The van or RV has residential parking permit.
  • The van or RV does not have all windows covered.
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Bus with trash around it, Acton near Parker

 

This is the Google Map showing our results thus far in the research:  Map of Homelessness in Berkeley

Some of the conclusions and observations that can be drawn from the study:

(1) There are certain areas with heavy concentrations of homeless camps and/or people living in vehicles.  For the purposes of the study, I will divide the city into sectors.  When the study is finished, I will calculate the percentage of homeless camps/cars in each sector of the city.

(2) There are a large number of people living in vehicles at the Berkeley Marina in particular.  We counted 43 vehicles that appear to be being used as dwellings parked in and nearby the Berkeley Marina, including in areas that clearly indicate that overnight parking is not allowed. In fact there was virtually no part of the Berkeley Marina without vehicle dwellers.  We found them in every parking lot — over 6 parking lots– as well as in a huge encampment of 13 large RVs all lined up directly across from the Double Tree Hotel and one of the Marina access areas.  We found 6 to 8 vehicles that appear to be used as residences parked in the small parking lot (space for 15 vehicles total ) on Frontage Rd near the Ashby St exit.  This in spite of the fact that signage there clearly indicates that the area is a tow-away zone from 9pm to 6am.  So it would seem that in this small beach and shoreline area created for recreation, just adjacent to this small parking lot on Frontage Rd near Ashby, half the available parking spaces are being used by homeless people living in their cars.

Frontage road parking restrictions photoshopped

Several people living in cars at beach at Frontage Rd in spite of this signage: Berkeley Police officer has been unable to explain why this continues in spite of numerous requests to police to enforce parking restrictions.

 

(3) There are apparently a number of homeless people coming here from out of state.   As of November 23 2017, of a total of about 120 “homeless” vehicles recorded so far, these had out of state license plates:
— Colorado Lic plate 020 RZQ Marina Blvd near DoubleTree hotel

–Wyoming lic plate 6 9784 parking lot at Berkeley Marina

— Missouri lic plate SK4 J7L  Harrison St between San Pablo and 10th

— Arizona lic plate 1440 AP 5th St at Camelia

— Arizona lic plate 378S5 Camelia at 4th

— Michigan lic plate BGV 4647 5th at Bancroft

–Iowa lic plate EFP 819 5th at Addison

–Utah Lic plate 43U 403 Grayson at 7th

— Oregon lic plate 556 HJZ 8th at Grayson

— Oregon lic plate 406 HCE 8th at Heinz

— Montana lic plate 479277B McGee at Stuart

— Washington Lic plate BFW8747 Telegraph at Ashby

–FLorida lic plate 4GR 047  on Curtis at Allston

— Montana lic plate BTD070 Curtis at Addison

Massachusetts lic plate 7616 D McGee at Channing

–Colorado lic plate 802 2GQ Regent near Dwight

–New Mexico lic plate 09165C Haste at Bowditch

— Texas lic plate FHL 4985 California at Ashby

–Texas Lic plate FNV 6598 Ellis at Adeline

— Alabama lic plate 4C 44601 Lowell at Grace

–Wisconsin lic plate H8670 62nd at Hollis

–Washington Lic plate B45223G 62nd at Doyle

–Nevada lic plate A821 Frontage rd near Ashby exit

–Massachusetts lic plate 3DY 129 on Marina Rd near Double Tree hotel

–Illinois lic plate 393 867 Marina Parking lot near Cesar Chavez Park

–Idaho lic plate 2C A783M Marina Parking lot near Cesar Chavez Park

–Florida Lic plate AGR 047 Bonar at Addison

–MIchigan lic plate PRM RTS 9th St at Virginia

— Arizona Lic plate AWD1131 36th at Webster (in Oakland)

— Oregon lic plate 480 JPA 56th at Telegraph (in Oakland)

— Ohio lic plate HFY 1286 55th at Telegraph (in Oakland)

By the way…
I discovered that it’s illegal for people to keep out of state license plates when they reside in a new state. They are required to get new registration in the state where they are living (or squatting, as the case may be).

One can report so called “cheaters” who dont’ get the in state registration as required, here:

https://www.chp.ca.gov/notify-chp/cheaters-out-of-state-(out-of-state-registration-violators)

I dont’ think the CHP walks on eggshells around the “homeless” as do Berkeley Police, so this may be a better way to go with problematic vehicle dwellers with out of state plates.

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Harrison St RV CA license plate 3PWG284 2

2nd and Page RV and homeless camp
RV and homeless camp at 2nd and Page streets, Berkeley

After working to map homeless camps and vehicle dwelling in Berkeley, we’d like to do the same for the city of Oakland.  Actually we are doing these maps at the same time since we have team members who live in both cities working on the project.

For Oakland, there has already been some mapping of homeless camps that was done in early 2017, perhaps by the city.  This map (which is given in this San Francisco Chronicle Article) shows the results they found, as well as indicating three sites where Oakland intends to build sanctioned homeless encampments. More on Oakland’s approach in another article.  Sanctioned Homeless Encampments Oakland

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19 thoughts on “Map of Homelessness in Berkeley”

  1. Hi. Thanks for the map. I was wondering … there do not seem to be many pins in the Berkeley/Oakland hills. Is this because you did not check these areas or is it that those areas are really absent of homeless campers?

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  2. Yes — the project has only gotten started in the last few weeks, so we have not had time to survey all the streets/public places in Berkeley, and Emeryville and North Oakland, much less all those further south and west in Oakland. We have not done any surveying at all in the Berkeley or Oakland hills as of this point. We aim to work on this area in coming weeks. However, we expect not to find many vehicle-dwellers in the hills, as this area is not convenient for them and they are more visible, as well as likely less tolerated than in the flatlands. By contrast there are quite possibly a number of people living in tents in the parks, but we dont’ expect to find those since they are likely well hidden — they would be removed by the park rangers if they weren’t.

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  3. As the owner of one of the vehicleis that parks on Marina Blvd., I am more than slightly confused as to why you would go to all this effort to make a “map of homelessness in Berkeley” (with dropped pins and everything)… But, have the pins in the incorrect places for the photos that you have associated with them.

    You don’t even have the vehicles in the correct order in which they are frequently parked, let alone the correct geographical locations.

    I am a MAJOR fan of accurate data (when I lived out on the Albany Bulb, I conducted and maintained a census of all of the residents; my rising sign is Virgo; and I am generally an accuracy nut and a data nerd). And I FULLY support any effort to get an accurate record of the prevalence of homelessness in our area.

    However, I should think that one must stop and think before doing something as rash as publishing a list which includes the frequent locations/pictures/numbers of all of the license plates of vehicles (and the vehicles themselves) in which that individual suspects of being someone’s dwelling as well as pictures and locations of all of the homeless encampments that they can find.

    I am familiar enough with the laws in California regarding whether or not someone has a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in a public place, that I understand that snapping pictures of and publishing a list of homeless people and their/our dwellings is perfectly legal. I’m not arguing the legality of what you have done/are doing.
    Have you ever tried to find out the release date of an incarcerated person (of whom you were not a victim)? It’s virtually impossible. That is (from what I understand) to prevent those who may feel that they have an axe to grind with said person from lying in wait for that person to be released and then attacking them.

    Same goes with the way in which you have chosen to round up all of the data that police might want/need in order to be able to harass the subjects of your “map” project.

    Between that seeming lack of forethought and your tone in some of your captions, I cannot help but to wonder what your purpose/intent is?

    It is hard enough for those of us who do live in public to find any peace or privacy.

    I should hope that you might take that into consideration as you continue your project.

    Sincerely,
    Amber Lynn Whitson

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amber, thank you for your contribution and thoughts here. Our map is not intended to be precise down to the foot and inch — the vehicles on Marina Blvd may not be in correct order as they appear. Particularly with vehicles which are moveable (and often have to move around due to parking restrictions, street sweeping etc) we anticipate they will get moved around a fair amount.

      Our intent is to really give a good visual/geographic representation of homelessness in this area, and photos are important to this project. Photos tell stories very well, showing both the color and the culture, and also the sadness and, to be frank, the blight and garbage that we unfortunately see around some camps and some vehicles.

      License plate numbers are important to document if we are trying to keep track of things, particularly because some vehicles move around to quite different parts of the city and this can prevent them being counted more than once. Also, we do want to show photos of out of state license plates in particular because this speaks to a point that many are arguing about — where do the homeless come from? Are they all former Berkeley residents? Or are they coming from elsewhere because it’s an appealing place to come to live on the street? Out of state license plates help fill in part of this story.

      Also, it’s not as if the huge RV encampment on Marina Blvd is a secret. It’s directly across the street from a major hotel, it’s directly in front of and perhaps even on the land of Eastshore State Park, and the concrete barriers that the city of Berkeley erected to the north of it were apparently put up mainly to prevent RV’s continuing to park further north. So the city and the Berkeley police all very well know you’re there. If they wanted you out, you’d be out by now. You’re able to stay there because the city allows it. In fact, I’ve been in touch with at least a few Berkeley residents who say that when they call the police to complain about homeless people/vehicles in their area, the police basically said that they were not able to do anything about it. So dont’ worry, the city seems to be protecting the homeless pretty well.

      Now I will point out though, as you may notice if you read this blog I recently wrote https://homelessquandary.wordpress.com/2017/12/02/berkeleys-attempt-to-address-the-homeless-problem/
      The city of Berkeley is well aware that no part of the Berkeley Marina may be used as a homeless encampment, as that would be a violation of the Public Trust Doctrine. Hence the continuation of homeless vehicle dwellers may be imperiled by state law which explicitly prohibits that use.

      “City lands held in “Trust” at the Berkeley Marina may not be used for a homeless encampment pursuant to the Public Trust Doctrine The Berkeley Marina and waterfront are subject to the common law Public Trust Doctrine and the statutory limitations found in the statute granting these lands to the City of Berkeley in 1913, as amended. See Stats. 193, ch. 347, § 1 and Stats. 1962, ch. 55, § 1. The City of Berkeley’s statutory grant of its tidelands and submerged lands currently requires that such lands be “held in trust” for specified uses in which there is a general, statewide benefit, including wharves, docks, piers, commercial and industrial purposes, aviation facilities, transportation and utility facilities, public buildings, parks, playgrounds, marinas, restaurants and motels. Although courts have recognized that “trust” uses may evolve over time, they have found it to be essential that they be public, water-dependent uses that serve a statewide purpose. Purely municipal facilities such as libraries and hospitals have been held to not be of general statewide interest. Mallon v. City of Long Beach, 44 Cal.2d 199 (1955). By letter of April 18, 2017, the California State Lands Commission advised the City of its opinion that use of any portion of the Berkeley Marina and waterfront for a homeless encampment would be inconsistent with the City of Berkeley’s statutory grant and the Public Trust Doctrine.

      It’s not clear how public roadways and/or shoulders of public roads in the Berkeley Marina are related to this Public Trust Doctrine law.

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    1. Yes, we have scouted out the area in Acton near Parker — if you look at the map you’ll see we’ve plotted two buses which were recently seen there, one of which has trash strewn about it on the street — sad– it’s right across the street from a very nice and well kept home.

      Bus at Acton and Parker

      This resident has to open her/his door in the morning and look out at a decrepit car encircled by debris. It’s unfortunate that there aren’t better parking restrictions there to help protect the neighborhood, or that there isn’t more concern from the city to protect residents from this problem. A simple law prohibiting people from dwelling in vehicles in residential neighborhoods, like that enacted in Los Angeles, would help enormously.

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/01/los-angeles-is-attempting-to-fix-its-homeless-car-parking-problem/

      http://www.scpr.org/news/2017/02/06/68713/new-restrictions-limit-where-homeless-in-cars-can/

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      1. You’re describing my house.. Thank you, we’ve been busy! Acton from Carleton to Blake typically has 3-6 RVs. It unsightly, but most aren’t used as housing. The blue bus pictured has some sort of special exception. “BPD #####” is written on the doors and I’ve seen cops ticket every RV and skip this one half a dozen times. The house on the corner has been on the market for quite some time (fell through twice) and the RV’s clearly don’t help. It’s frustrating and there’s not much we can do besides call the cops when an RV is abandoned, noisy, or messy. My wife voted down getting Czech hedgehogs or a half dozen Nissan Versas to fill up the street.

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      2. I feel for you, having to do all that work. I wonder why the one vehicle gets a pass from police? I’d follow up on this. If there is a pattern of discrimination going on where some vehicles are being exempted from parking restrictions — such as, only those which people are living in — that needs to be uncovered.
        Many people are having to spend time like this, on repeated calls to police, which generally dont’ result in a permanent fix, but only a merry-go-round of vehicles moved and then moved back again. I certainly empathize with the idea of getting several NIssan Versas to fill up the block.

        Have you considered building a nice little, or perhaps nice LARGE, parklet or mini-park? Parklets can be built which either offer outdoor seating, or perhaps no seating but simply put a garden in the street.

        Garden Parklet

        Combination garden -seating parklet

        Old boat parklet

        Alternatively, a nice large bike parking stand installed in the street would effectively block the street from being used to create blight. Or you could just petition to the city to install large concrete barriers to permanently block off the area so no one can park there.
        Bike parking stand

        If people are already appropriating the streets for a purpose for which they weren’t intended — either long term storage of unsightly vehicles which block the view, or for vehicle camping — then I don’t see why you couldn’t find a creative way to re-appropriate the sides of the streets towards a more aesthetic purpose and one that would meet with more approval by the neighborhood, not to mention the poor property owner trying to sell their house and not being able to do so due to blight issues.

        Actually though one of the easiest ways to deal with this problem would be to work jointly with your neighbors and petition the city to install 2 hr residential parking in the problem areas of the street. That way no one but area residents could park there over 2 hrs on weekdays or they’d be ticketed. This process requires some time — several months in all — we went thru it recently in my area — but it’s probably the most straightforward approach to a section of street that continually has this type of problem.

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    1. All what sounds like that? Studying the phenomenon and mapping it?
      Actually for people who want to camp to stay in camps designated for that purpose is the standard in our country and really around the developed world. Many of the homeless themselves have been asking for designated campsites, and other cities have set aside certain camps/parking lots where car camping is permitted.

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  4. I too am unsure of longtime purpose of this tracking. It concerns me that it is a way of continuing the demonizing of an already disenfranchised group. I wish there were a way to encourage the homeless to care for their space, to be more of a neighbor than an unwelcome invader. Perhaps some effort could be directed toward that; compassion costs little and is a better head space.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Statements like this:
    “If people are already appropriating the streets for a purpose for which they weren’t intended — either long term storage of unsightly vehicles which block the view, or for vehicle camping — then I don’t see why you couldn’t find a creative way to re-appropriate the sides of the streets towards a more aesthetic purpose and one that would meet with more approval by the neighborhood, not to mention the poor property owner trying to sell their house and not being able to do so due to blight issues.”
    Imply that 1) using the streets for just about anything (other than “vehicle camping” or other “blight” is more desirable than people who have nowhere else to live having somewhere to park the little bit that they have without fear of citation or further ostracization and 2) aestheticism and “neighborhood approval” are of more importance than humanitarianism or neighborliness.

    I realize that I might not the best person for you to be hearing the back-story of with regards to this matter…

    What about my friend (an elderly, disabled woman) who had a long career in the medical field, only to have her disability prevent her from working any longer. Her family owned a house in West Berkeley for generations. Then, when the housing market crashed, they lost everything. She has small 3 aging dogs whom she treasures as the only remnants of her large family who still live with her. When she had to find somewhere to live, she searched high and low for an apartment that would accept her and her dogs. To no avail. So, she bought a motorhome.
    She has her 3 dogs and then her niece abandoned her half blind dog with her (who is now completely blind and in need of eye surgery to remove the remaining eye) and her cat (who adopted her). She has also been known to nurse injured birds back to health and then release them once they are healed. She not only picks up after her dogs, she picks up after other people’s dogs as well. She leaves ZERO trash behind her (not even cigarette butts). She also generally cleans up around wherever she is parked. She is quiet and has no visitors. Yet, every night, she has to move from wherever she is parked and park in the parking lot of a nearby business, between the hours of 2am and 5am. Because, even though there are other vehicles, in which people live, that still park in that same area all night long… She is the ONLY one (except when some newcomer parks near there) who receives a citation for violating Berkeley’s “commercial vehicle” parking law (BMC 14.40.120). The woman is the only vehicle in the area that displays a disabled placard, for God’s sake!
    She would love to find a place to live that would allow her to have her support dogs with her. But, she cannot afford anywhere nearby.
    She grew up in and raised all of her children in Berkeley!
    So, what advice would you give her?
    Does she no longer deserve to live where generations of her family have lived, because she is priced-out after the housing crash?

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    1. The questions you are asking are good ones and part of what makes this issue so complex. However, even though it’s complex doesn’t mean it’s not solvable.
      I strongly believe that Berkeley and other cities should prohibit people living in vehicles on public streets in residential neighborhoods, as well as prohibit people living in vehicles adjacent to or within a certain distance from a public park ( such as the Eastshore State Park where the unsanctioned RV camp in which you and others reside is now located) and then enforce the parks law regularly but enforce the residential area law based on complaints. This would mean that if people are living in vehicles in communities where neighbors dont’ mind this, the neighbors would not complain to the city and the vehicle dwellers could stay. But if neighbors complain, the vehicle dweller should be removed, sent to another area.

      So the short answer is no, I dont’ believe that someone who loses their housing, for whatever reason, has a right to then start camping out on a public street in that residential neighborhood. People deserve help, and everyone deserves shelter, but I strongly believe that residential streets and really any public streets should not be allowed to become campgrounds. This was never their purpose, and this use is not compatible with a residential neighborhood. Also, I have a difficulty with people appropriating public space for private use as a habitation, wherever they do it.

      People have different values about what they think is appropriate to neighborhoods, and some are more tolerant of vehicle dwellers than others. However, as we’ve seen in San Francisco, where people have been quoted in the media as saying, “I’m a lifelong progressive and typically very tolerant…but this is getting way out of control. It’s not acceptable what’s happening on the streets around here.” Tolerance can only be stretched so far before it breaks. Not everyone who lives in a vehicle is a nice person, not everyone is clean, not everyone is someone that the community would want in their neighborhood. Some homeless are criminals and some are bike thieves (I’m working on an article about this to be published soon) and people dont’ take it well to have someone plop down in their neighborhood in a squalid RV or van or tent camp and then start preying on them and stealing their stuff.

      As well, being tolerant of one or two vehicle dwellers in a residential neighborhood does not imply tolerance for ten or twenty of them, particularly when they start parking right in front of people’s homes or across the street from peoples’ homes.

      As the problem of homelessness grows, cities will I think experience more pressure not just to help the homeless, and to protect their “rights”, but also to protect neighborhoods, and to protect the rights of housed residents. Communities dont’ want their neighborhoods turned into slums.

      I believe Berkeley should adapt a similar law to Los Angeles, where it prohibits vehicle dwelling but permits it in commerical/industrial areas, within limits. Berkeley is considering some changes in parking laws along these lines. Berkeley proposals for changes to parking restrictions

      However, as the problem of homelessness continues to grow, I think we may well begin seeing what amount to refugee camps, coordinated at a state or federal level. I just can’t see the mathematics solved in any other way. The number of homeless grows, but available shelter and housing are quite limited, particularly in our West Coast cities. So as homeless camps and vehicle dwellers multiply, you either leave them be and allow the city or certain areas to be turned into slums, or you come up with a plan — and as I see it one workable plan is either share the burden and have other cities with fewer homeless people take some to be housed there, or set up the equivalent of a refugee camp or camps.

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