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BERKELEY'S NEWS • FEBRUARY 09, 2023

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City employees, Berkeley police clear homeless encampment

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CAN JOZEF SAUL | STAFF

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AUGUST 30, 2022

Update 6:30 p.m.: This article has been updated to reflect additional information from city of Berkeley spokesperson Matthai Chakko.

Workers employed by the city of Berkeley were seen clearing out a homeless encampment near the intersection of Dana Street and Channing Way around 8:30 a.m. Monday morning.

According to passersby, both city staff and officers with the Berkeley Police Department were present on the scene, as well as a number of civilians who had either previously inhabited the space or had paused to witness the ongoings. A garbage truck was parked next to the site, and city employees were seen discarding personal belongings including clothes, blankets and tents.

The city’s Homeless Response Team was responsible for the “deep cleaning” of the area, according to city spokesperson Matthai Chakko. He noted that the aim of the cleanup was to ensure that the encampment abided by city sidewalk policies, and that a written notice was provided to inhabitants Friday.

Following their arrival at the scene, city workers encountered two tents that were uninhabited, according to Chakko. The shelters were subsequently taken down, the items inside and the tent themselves sorted with the rest being discarded.

During the cleanup, two of the encampment’s residents were present and interacted with the workers there. Chakko noted that one of the two individuals engaged in verbal confrontation but “ultimately agreed” to work with them. The other resident was said to have also been cooperative.

“Nothing was taken from the individuals who were present without their consent. Two outreach workers from the Homeless Response Team were on site to connect with those living in the encampment as well,” Chakko said in an email.

Four BPD officers were also mentioned as being in attendance, but were noted as having been uninvolved in the actual clearing of the encampment.

No arrests or citations were made during the clearing, and Chakko added that the police officers were only present as a way of monitoring the safety of those sent to visit the site.

“The officers were there solely to provide security for City staff,” said BPD spokesperson Byron White in an email.

Check back for more updates.

Samantha Lim is the city news editor. Contact her at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @sssamanthalim.
LAST UPDATED

AUGUST 30, 2022


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