Public Comment

Help Requested for Tent City - “First they came for the homeless”

Marcia Poole
Friday November 25, 2016 - 12:55:00 PM

We are requesting the residents of Berkeley reach out to those in their community who are less fortunate. We ask this with the sincere hope that it awakens the community to immediate and compassionate action. 

The Berkeley City Manager’s office has repeatedly called on the Berkeley Police Department to roust a small group of clean and sober homeless people who are living outdoors in various locales. Last Thursday and Friday mornings, the police confiscated their warm sleeping bags, blankets, tents, tarps, clothing, etc. The police are mandated by law to put these belongings in a specific spot from where they can be retrieved. They have not done so. The current Tent City people are now sleeping under two spread out tarps that protect them from the rain and they are wrapped in whatever the community has been able to donate. The wind and cold still penetrate this temporary shelter and several of the people there are now very ill. 

If anyone has extra sleeping bags, blankets, small tents, warm socks and jackets, etc., please consider donating them to this group immediately. You could deliver them directly to Tent City - “First they came for the homeless” at the southwest corner of Milvia and Center Streets. 

We are also asking members of the community to volunteer to camp out with them for a night now and then. Choose whichever night you wish and bring your own warm camping gear. We are asking this in order to show solidarity with those in need and to act as witnesses in case they are rousted again by the police in the early hours of the morning. 

Three of the campers are currently very ill from exposure. If any of you have medical training - (nurses, doctors, medics) - we also ask you to drop in and help them. 

We thank you all.