Homeless advocates build unsanctioned tiny homes near Oakland public street

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- ABC7 News is working to build a better Bay Area and finding solutions to our homeless crisis is a big part of that mission.

In Oakland, homeless advocates are building what they call, an emergency shelter project.

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The village of tiny homes is going up on East 12th Street and 16th Avenue, in response to the city's homeless crisis.

But will the city allow it to stay?

Volunteers are working non-stop, building about a dozen of the tiny homes located on a public median, off 12th street.

"There's been homeless people living on this plot for 11 years," said homeless advocate Needa Bee.

A group called "The Village" say they're taking action to house about 14 homeless people in the 8 by 12-foot wooden shelters.

Restroom facilities and showers will be added.

"People deserve a dignified way to exist in the midst of an affordability crisis," Bee added.

Brent Shipp says he's lived on this median for two years.. the tiny homes are a big improvement.

"It's like a little community, a little apartment complex type deal, great," said Shipp.

It's unclear how long the unsanctioned homes will be allowed to stay here. The city has removed the last few communities built by the same group.

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"We will not treat this encampment any different than we would any other encampment," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.

Mayor Schaaf says every homeless camp gets the same assessment, based on safety, health and size.

ABC7 News contributor and San Francisco Chronicle insider Phil Matier says time will tell about the camp's future.

"One of the big questions here, how long does it stay active? how long does it stay clean? how long will it be something you can show," said Matier.

Homeless advocates vow to build more tiny shelters around Oakland.

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