'Rats as big as chihuahuas': Some homeless applaud Oakland's efforts to clean up encampments

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Oakland is taking action this week to clean up some of the homeless encampments around the city as the mayor opened up a new so-called "cabin community" of tiny homes for displaced residents.

Garbage trucks moved in on mattresses and mounds of garbage at Union Point Park along the Embarcadero in Oakland. Many of the homeless literally applauded the city crews. Others were upset.

Donna Ewing has lived in a tent here for four years. She said seeing the city crews is "a blessing because if it weren't for them it be more piles of trash and rats as big as Chihuahuas you know."

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She's excited to be moving into a trailer within the next month and eventually, she hopes permanent housing.

Oakland also announced they are starting to dismantle the encampment at the Home Depot lot in the Fruitvale area in the coming month and will move many of the homeless into a designated safe RV parking lot and into trailers as well. Some of those trailers supplied by the state of California as outlined to ABC7 News by Governor Newsom a few weeks ago.

Also this week Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf unveiled a new so-called "cabin community" of tiny homes nestled under Interstate 880 at Oak Street, comprised of 38 private units in the shadow of new construction across the street paid for entirely with donations from 170 private Oakland residents. No taxpayer money.

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Mayor Schaaf said "This site is 100% donated by loving Oaklanders. The total start-up cost of every one of these cabins."

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