Public Records Referenced in Oct. 4 Berkeley Encampment Sweep Article

1-Redacted_Incident-Report-22-46598Download

2-RE_-Campers-parked-for-weeks-across-the-streetDownload

3-Memorandum-to-City-Manager-on-Harrison-Corridor-9.26.22Download

4-RE_-Eighth-Street-Campers-UpdateDownload

5-RE_-Camelia-Street-encampmentDownload

6-Follow-up-Report-on-Harrison-Encampments-29Download

To initiate a massive encampment sweep at Eight and Harrison streets, Berkeley police and city staff began rousting people living in tents and vehicles shortly after 6 a.m. on Oct. 4.

‘Everything Is Gone, and You Become More Lost’: 12 Hours of Chaos as Berkeley Clears Encampment

In early October, Berkeley police and city officials roused 53 unhoused residents — claiming they were harboring rodents — and seized and destroyed 29 tents and three self-made structures. People begged to retrieve personal items and work tools before the property was tossed into a phalanx of garbage trucks. Four vehicles in which people had been living were towed to impound lots. They would be crushed 15 days later, per the city’s request. 

While some operable cars and RVs were allowed to remain in the neighborhood, and people without vehicles who chose to stay were offered two-person tents, the overall effect of the sweep was that dozens of unhoused people had their belongings taken and their daily existence turned upside down.

Singer at benefit concert with Ukrainian flags.

Ukrainians in SF Are Anxious and Angry, and Refugees Need Homes

Members of the Ukrainian diaspora in San Francisco are angry, anxious and desperate to connect with loved ones in their ancestral homeland. Meanwhile, a local aid agency is asking for help as refugees begin arriving in the Bay Area. On a sunny weekend afternoon in mid-March, hundreds gathered at the bandshell in Golden Gate Park music concourse for a show called Slava Ukraini — or Glory to Ukraine. It was a fundraiser for the World Central Kitchen, which is helping to feed Ukrainian refugees.

hands holding a vial of naloxone

Harm Reduction Critical to Addressing Overdose Crisis, Local Experts Say

The key to addressing San Francisco’s overdose crisis, say community activists and medical experts in the city, is harm reduction. That’s an approach that acknowledges not all drug users will achieve abstinence, and that focuses on keeping them safe and alive if they’re not ready or able to quit. Drug overdoses killed more people in San Francisco than did COVID-19 in the first two years of the pandemic — 711 deaths in 2020, and 645 in 2021.

A tent stands to the left of a pile of charred debris under the charred bottom of an overpass.

What Reporters Learned Mapping Encampment Fires

Fires in encampments, tents and other makeshift shelters occurred more frequently in recent years, reporting from the San Francisco Public Press and Mission Local shows. But incident counts alone do not offer a clear explanation of what is happening on the street.

A man in a plaid shirt holds a fire extinguisher.

Grassroots Nonprofits and Homeless Communities Create Their Own Fire Prevention Solutions

Encampment fires are a fact of life due to the exposed conditions homeless residents live in, but the 77th Avenue Rangers’ camp demonstrates that there’s hope for controlling these incidents without official intervention.

One key to their success has been fire preparedness, including measures like installing smoke alarms and keeping fire extinguishers on hand.

Growing Bay Area Need Not Use More Water, Report Says

The Bay Area can house millions more people without increasing its water use, according to a new report from the urbanist and water-use think tanks SPUR and the Pacific Institute. This could be done by continuing to improve water conservation efforts while concentrating on developing infill housing to prevent urban sprawl.