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Federal court order opens the way for Oakland residents to move to new shelters

U.S. District Judge William Orrick III wrote in Monday's order that the city had addressed "the state-created danger concerns I addressed in my prior order" by ensuring shelter beds are open and available.

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — A temporary restraining order put in place last month to protect the unhoused residents of an encampment the city of Oakland had hoped to clear to make way for new affordable housing has been dissolved.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick III in San Francisco dissolved the TRO Monday afternoon after finding the city finally has enough shelter beds available to house the roughly 60 residents of the encampment. The site, at 1707 Wood Street, is a three-acre parcel owned by the city of Oakland.

“Ensuring that the shelter beds are open and available with genuine offers of shelter being made to residents addresses the state-created danger concerns I addressed in my prior order,” Orrick wrote in Monday’s two-page order.

Orrick activated the temporary restraining order on January 6, prohibiting the city from closing the encampment and removing people from the site. He then ruled on Feb. 3 that the order would be dissolved two weeks later, after the city promised there would be a cabin site ready for move-in Feb. 6, and an RV site move-in ready by Feb. 13. 

That didn’t happen as the needed work still wasn’t completed and dissolution of the TRO was postponed twice as a result.

Now, however, the city says it has enough shelter beds to take care of everyone, including 32 beds at a new cabin community and an additional 29 spaces at a new RV site. There are more than 100 additional beds at shelters throughout Oakland, according to the city. The cabin community, located at 2601 Wood Street, was announced as open by the city on February 7, but it was discovered that a great deal of work on the interiors of the cabins had yet to be completed.

Residents of 1707 Wood Street were given priority at the $8.3 million facility, which is able to house up to 100 people.

“The site includes restroom, shower, and laundry facilities, electricity, a community kitchen and eating space, limited secured storage for personal belongings, security, parking, and two meals per day,” according to a news release issued by the city on February 7. “Each cabin includes a secure, locked door and windows, a wall-mounted heater, an overhead light and at least two electrical outlets.”

Requests for comment from the Oakland officials, as well as the plaintiffs in the suit, were not immediately returned.

Categories:Civil Rights, Law, Regional

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