On Thursday, May 25, 2017 on San Leandro Street, the Beautification Council, within the County of Alameda, launched "Operation Stabilize." The mission of this operation is to enlist the occupants of encampments thoughout Alameda County. We are engaging with many encampments to participate in “spring cleanings” to improve their conditions. This unique Operation demonstrates that the homeless can take ownership and stabilize their own communities through first-hand understanding of their issues until the City, County or State provides needed housing.
The Beautification Council began engaging with the surrounding encampments for more than three years during its historic Operation Clean Sweep, a 2.25 mile cleanup of illegal graffiti and illegal dumping along San Leandro Street transportation corridor launched May 14, 2014. While many people associate illegal dumping with homeless encampments, the City of Oakland confirms that two-thirds of the dumping is committed by out-of-town illegal dumpers. By engaging with the homeless residences, it was learned that the homeless are just as concerned with illegal dumping as other citizens.
The Beautification Council to date has provided service referrals to the encampment residents, two-cycle oil mixture fuels for weed eaters, fire extinguishers, and over 2,811 one-liter bottles for drinking and cleanliness. All the while, the Beautification Council repeatedly asked the City of Oakland for assistance with these encampments but these requests fell on deaf ears. The City claims it is limited by its budget. Operation Stabilize proves, however, that the homeless, when engaged, can maintain their areas in a clean, safe environment, without fire incidents, with minimal funding. However, funding is needed for basic necessities, such as water, portable bathrooms, shower vouchers, hygiene supplies, etc., all to keep the area sanitized. With your donations, we can provide these needed and valuable services to identified surrounding encampments until the long-term housing goal is reached.
- Scott Weston
- Dahlia Moodie
- Ruth Haynes
Organizer and beneficiary
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