Abatement of Richmond homeless encampment set for Tuesday

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A homeless encampment near 22nd Street and Carlson Blvd. in Richmond is set to be abated Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.

By Mike Kinney

The City of Richmond is set to close down the large homeless encampment at 22nd Street and Carlson Boulevard Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.

The move to shutter the encampment comes after the nearby Greater Richmond Interfaith Program opened a 30-space Warming Center on Monday. The center opens Monday through Saturday from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.

On March 5, dozens of people living in the homeless encampment were given notice to vacate. City officials say the encampment has increasingly become a public health and safety hazard and a drain on city resources. Their eviction was postponed, however, to wait for GRIP to open its new warming center, which was made possible by a grant from the Contra Contra Costa County Homeless Services and The Mayor’s Fund from the Richmond Community Foundation.

RELATED: Large Richmond homeless encampment given notice to vacate

On Monday, city crews were putting up fencing at the encampment to keep campers out. We stopped by GRIP and spoke with case manager Larry Austin, the newly appointed director of the Warming Center, which is located in the dining area of the shelter’s cafeteria. Warmth and food will be provided to up to 30 individuals nightly, he said.

“In order to access these services, you do not show up at the door of the Warming Center,” Austin said. “You call 211 which is the County hotline for services, then the C.O.R.E mobile outreach team will come and pickup folks whereever they might be and bring them into the shelter.”

The contract for the Warming Center will last for the next year, but Austin says he hopes the services will continue beyond then.

2 COMMENTS

  1. they had a place to live and it was removed… so wrong,. warming center has cots in a dining room far from a tent where you have privacy….and this is not a solution,. it seems cruleer, less humane ,. you have no privacy,,. its so wrong,. why didnt they help keep that area clean ? they meaning the city? HOW CRUEL><

  2. That place was directly on top one of the only north south pedestrian routes across Richmond. Cruelty is requiring people who don’t have the luxury of driving to walk through open air bathrooms and refuse piles on a daily basis in order to get to their jobs and/or services.

    Helping the homeless is a very worthy goal but it shouldn’t require the suffering of others to accomplish. The warming center is one alternative. Another would be to organize a move of the camp to another better location. The worst option would have been to leave it where it was directly on top of a public right of way.

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