Berkeley city manager reverses decision to evict ‘Here There’ encampment

Allen Zeng/Staff

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03/06/2020: This article has been updated with information from Stefan Elgstrand, spokesperson for Mayor Jesse Arreguín.

On March 6, the city of Berkeley gave notice of violation of PC 647e, or lodging on public property, to the residents of the “Here There” encampment.

The “Here There” encampment is located on Adeline Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Alcatraz Avenue. Lodging on public property in this area is not permitted, according to the notice.

Representatives of the city advised the members of the encampment that shelter is available at the city’s shelter at the Veterans Memorial Building located at 1931 Center St. The city also offered vouchers to the members of the encampment guaranteeing the availability of shelter beds beginning March 6.

“Please take this opportunity to immediately collect your belongings and leave this location,” the notice reads. “The City prefers not to have to resort to citation or arrest to gain your compliance with this notice.”

Property that is left unattended will be handled in accordance with city policy on temporary storage of unattended property.

According to Stefan Elgstrand, spokesperson for Mayor Jesse Arreguín, this decision was made by the Berkeley city manager and not the mayor.

Homeless advocate Guy “Mike” Lee said there is currently not much information, as “sensitive” negotiations are still ongoing with the city. These negotiations will occur at meetings this weekend.

“The 72-hour notice, we have an understanding that it is being put on hold until after these meetings,” Lee said. “The city is trying to work with the encampment residents so that we do not have a confrontational situation out here.”

Elgstrand added that the city manager has reversed the decision to remove the encampment. Instead, K-rails will be placed to protect residents of the encampment from vehicles.

Thao Nguyen is a deputy news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @tnguyen_dc.