Albany homeless appear to move into Berkeley

Byby Nick Smith KGO logo
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Homeless kicked out of Albany, camps pop up in Berkeley
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Nearly two dozen homeless people were kicked out of the Albany Bulb area, but it seems many have traveled over to Berkeley.

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- A controversial group of homeless people who were enticed with money to leave one East Bay encampment are now moving into another location.

Nearly two dozen homeless were living in an area called the Albany Bulb, along the shoreline in the East Bay. Now, some of those same people are camping out in Berkeley. Residents say those that got the cash didn't use it for permanent housing.

ABC7 News first met a homeless man named Ohio back in April. He was among the dozens evicted from the Albany Bulb when the city told its homeless community they had to pack-up and move.

What happened next has confused some and angered others. After Albany, many of the homeless, like Ohio, are still on the street and in many cases not far from where it all started.

Ohio said, "The problem is not with people living on the street."

Well, that depends on who you ask. In an industrial section of West Berkeley, east of the freeway, business owners say they noticed the trash piles start to grow when a homeless encampment popped up on Jones near Second Street.

One woman who lives and works in the area said, "There's definitely an unsafe element at this point. Since the Albany thing disbanded, the homeless people around this neighborhood, it's gotten more and more to the point where people are just setting up camp on the sidewalk."

Some may say Albany just dumped their homeless problem on somebody else, but Albany assistant city manager Nicole Almageur says that is not the case.

Almageur says when Albany cleared out the bulb, social services were offered and Albany has been successful tackling a large problem with limited resources. Through a settlement agreement, some were given as much as $3,000 to help with their transition.

"Albany's payouts is a misnomer. What occurred was the settlement of litigation filed against the city," Almageur said.

She says even though some of the homeless have moved to neighboring communities, Albany is not to blame.

"What occurs with the homeless population in one area to another is uncertain," Almageur said.