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Oakland city workers this week hauled off 250 tons — 500,000 pounds — of garbage and junk from a city lot adjacent to a Home Depot where dozens of homeless are living in broken-down RVs, trashed campers, and scrap shanties.
Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo told the San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday that the city disposed of 75 truckloads of debris that had accumulated at the site, “and we still have 50 more tons to go.”
“It shows you just how big this thing is,” he said.
The “clean and clear” effort dwarfs other California cities struggling with rampant homelessness, including San Francisco, where officials told the Chronicle cleanups don’t typically exceed 10 tons.
Oakland - Homeless - Director - Joe - DeVries
Oakland’s homeless director Joe DeVries said complaints from Home Depot and fires at the city’s homeless encampments, as well as media tours led by Gallo prompted fire officials to assess the area, where they found “extremely hazardous fire conditions,” Fire Marshal Orlando Arriola told the news site.
“The risk to human life at the site due to fire danger is unacceptable,” he said.
Fires - Encampments - City - Months - Chronicle
At least 158 confirmed fires broke out in homeless encampments in the city through the first nine months of 2019, according to the Chronicle.
“And this site is a perfect example of how impossible the situation has become for the public and for the poor living there,” DeVries said. “We had a utility pole get burned in one of the structure fires last month that knocked out power to the nearby traffic signals.”
Homelessness - Rise - California - Oakland - Volunteers
Homelessness is on the rise across California but it’s particularly bad in Oakland, where volunteers counted 4,071 people living on the street, in vehicles and shelters during the city’s biennial count in January, according to The Mercury News.
That figure was...
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