With an $8.6 million grant from the state, Oakland plans to open three new “Tuff Shed” shelters and lease land for four sanctioned RV parks to house the city’s homeless.
The new “Tuff Shed” sites could provide shelter for up to 320 people a year, and the RV parks would provide parking and services for 150 RVs, according to a report from assistant city administrator Joe DeVries. About 300 people are expected to live in the RV parks, reported East Bay Times.
A 2017 survey conducted by Alameda County estimated 2,761 people were homeless in Oakland, 1,902 of whom were living on streets or other places not meant for people to live.
The money for the shelters comes from the state’s Homeless Emergency Aid Program’s $500 million grant fund. So far, five California cities have received these grants to address homelessness; they are able to use the grants flexibly.
The City Council on Tuesday approved spending the funds to expand the city’s Tuff Shed shelter program, which provides short-term shelter for homeless people in large sheds while connecting them with services and guidance to access permanent housing. The program started last December and has three sites with the combined capacity to give shelter to 240 people a year, the report said.
The three new Tuff Shed encampments will open up on city-owned parcels at 3050 International Blvd. in Fruitvale, 3401 Mandela Parkway in West Oakland, and 105 Fifth St. near Chinatown.
The program has several critics — some of whom spoke out at Tuesday’s council meeting — who said they believe the Tuff Sheds are not adequate housing options.
The city also will use some of the money to open four managed RV sites in East, Central, and West Oakland that will provide RVs with secure parking, sanitary facilities and garbage services.