First off, thanks to all of you who emailed my office and Council at large about the package of homeless policies that were discussed at our meeting on Tuesday. For background information, please see my previous email or read this Berkeleyside article. Council stayed up late and debated the amended proposal at length, passing the following:
Directing the City Manager to work with Department heads on an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to focus on increasing emergency shelter, mobile health units, and warming centers and explore navigation centers and extra detox beds. As a result, the City now has 270 beds available during this current storm - 140 are available on a regular basis, and the EOC identified 130 more. Outreach staff are working to let people at encampments know about these resources (listed below).
Directing staff to explore and return to Council with recommendations for a locker storage program with multiple sites throughout the City.
Forming an Ad-Hoc Committee to discuss and develop a formal policy around existence and removal of encampments (this will return to Council for approval or rejection).
Amending the sidewalk ordinance so that Council review of a regulation on objects on sidewalks and enforcement will not be contingent on locker storage.
Reallocating a portion of the funding which was originally designated for locker storage to fund two community agencies for $30,722. Note: I proposed redirecting this funding to support increasing or maintaining shelter beds throughout the winter, but my motion did not pass. I abstained on funding specific organizations since doing so falls outside of the annual competitive City process for funding community agencies.
In short, policies around encampments and possessions on the sidewalk will be returning to Council. I will keep you updated when they come back for discussion. As always, I welcome your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org as does the rest of the City Council at email@example.com
Information about emergency beds and shelter:
Overnight shelter is now available at the following locations (in addition to the regular shelter beds available throughout the year):
North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave.
Francis Albrier Community Center, 2800 Park St.
First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, 2407 Dana St.
The following daytime warming center is also available:
Multi-Agency Service Center/Berkeley Food and Housing Project (Veteran’s Building), 1931 Center St. 8am - 6:30pm
Need a street or sidewalk repair? Want to report illegal dumping?
Use Berkeley's online 311 form (either through the General Request form or a specific topic) or call 311 from a landline, or 510-981-2489. Please note that my office routes all the service requests we receive through this customer service center, so your request will be handled most efficiently by directly contacting 311.
City Seeking Feedback on Website
We're planning on changing our website, CityofBerkeley.info, and, before we start, we'd like to get feedback from you about your experience with the current site and what you'd like a future site to have.
Please spend 10-15 minutes on a survey to let us know what you think about www.CityofBerkeley.info, and how we can enhance the information and online services we provide.
Residents, those who work in the City, visitors and other community members all have online needs we'd like to assess. Your input on this survey will help the City identify how key users currently use the website and how they may in the future. The responses you provide will be used to help redesign our website and develop a digital roadmap for the next several years.
Prepare for the Rain: Free Sandbags at Fire Stations 1, 2, 3, 7
Station 1 - 2442 Eighth Street, 94702 (510) 981-5510
Station 2 - 2029 Berkeley Way, 94705 (510) 981-5520
Station 3 - 2710 Russell Street, 94705 (510) 981-5530
Station 7 - 3000 Shasta Avenue, 94708 (510) 981-5570
Give Input on Plan to Improve Mental Health Services
Provide input on a plan to improve mental health services in our community. The update to the annual plan addresses services that are both ongoing as well as new services the City would like to add.
Berkeley Mental Health helps people of all ages with services across a spectrum of our community, from prevention in schools to intensive wrap-around services for our most vulnerable, mentally ill community members. The division works with those in housing or those they get housed so that they can lead full lives in the community.Feedback on the plan will be received via the following methods until December 15th at 5pm:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: Karen Klatt, MEd, MHSA Coordinator, City of Berkeley Mental Health, 3282 Adeline Street, Berkeley, CA 94704