Oakland homeless camp where tents caught fire to be decomissioned

OAKLAND (KRON) — The homeless encampment where 13 tents and a sanitation station were burned in a fire Monday night in West Oakland will be decommissioned Friday.

The fire started around 8:20 p.m. under Highway 580 near 35th and Peralta streets. This area is in District 3 which is represented by City Councilwoman Lynette Gibson McElhaney.

The camp was part of the Compassionate Communities pilot program, which McElhaney described as a “services-in-place model for regulating spontaneous camping communities.”

“This is a disappointing conclusion to what has been a largely successful City/County initiative that opened up new possibilities for improved service delivery to our most vulnerable residents,” McElhaney said today in a statement.

The decommissioning of the camp was planned before the fire, according to McElhaney. The camp’s residents will be referred to local shelters and health resources.

The fire at the homeless camp, along with the one at 2551 San Pablo Ave. on March 27, underscore the city’s need to do more, according to McElhaney.

She plans to bring forward “bold proposals” for housing and public safety to address concerns raised by unregulated campsites during the city’s budget process.

There are roughly 2,000 homeless people living on the streets of Oakland, according to McElhaney.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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