Oakland unveils 'Operation HomeBase,' will provide emergency trailer homes for at-risk homeless residents

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A new neighborhood has sprung up in the shadow of the Oakland Coliseum, one designed to provide shelter to the city's older or medically vulnerable homeless population, a safer place to live amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf unveiled "Operation Homebase," a once-vacant lot now teaming with 67 new RV's provided by the state office of emergency services.

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"These are our unhoused residents from East Oakland," explained Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. "'Operation HomeBase' will be giving safe respite to about 130 of our unhoused residents who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19."

"While we bend the curve at an aggregate level," said Oakland City Councilman Loren Taylor. "We have to stay focused on the details and the specific demographics of our residents and that means our most vulnerable."

Each trailer will house two people who already share a household and each comes equipped with bedding, household supplies and all utilities.

"We engineered for water, electric and power. We had to trench about 4500 linear feet in order to accommodate for the sewer," said project manager Jim Moore, with Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods.

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The first residents will be moving into the trailers starting Wednesday. There will be plenty of health precautions, including regular coronavirus testing.

"Operation HomeBase" residents were offered a place by invitation only and there is currently a waiting list.

With the new community comes the realization that for all those who invited in, there are hundreds more still on the streets of Oakland, trying to stay safe during a pandemic.

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