OAKLAND, Calif. -- Tuesday symbolized how complicated the homeless situation can be as we try to Build a Better Bay Area. Dozens of residents of a makeshift RV park in Oakland were evicted on Tuesday. The City of Oakland said the dwelling got too big and presented hazardous conditions for the community around it.
When you're a kid, playing with trucks is one thing. Having a truck back up to your house to take your belongings is another.
"We used to race each other on our bikes," said Benjamin Seing.
The 6-year-old woke up to city workers evicting his family and neighbors from Union Point's parking lot. On Tuesday he was supposed to go to first grade. Instead he stayed back because, according to his dad Tony Seing, he was stressed.
Luz: "Do you wish you had a different type of home?"
Luz: "Like what?"
Benjamin: "A home that's a house with a backyard and water where we can fish."
Luz: "Do you want a room? A bedroom?"
Luz: "What would you want it to look like?"
Benjamin: "Red. My favorite color is red"
While Benjamin dreams of a forever home, his dad is trying to figure out where they can sleep tonight.
"What are you thinking? I don't know where to go right now," Seing said. "I'm looking for a house. Basically where I'm working right now, I can't even pay or afford rent."
Seing is a dishwasher. He says he works hard, but now realizes he will have to work even harder. For the past year he, his wife and their two kids have made Union Point their home. A week ago, the City of Oakland handed out eviction notices.
"We had outreach workers out there," said Joe DeVries, Oakland's Assistant to the City Administrator. "We identified some children. We made a family shelter available for them."
Based on the City of Oakland's policies, when deciding if and when an encampment should be cleared, they check four things: safety, health, location and size. According to them, Union Point's location met all four in a negative way.
"They are migrating," said DeVries. "They don't have a set place, is that the solution? It's not the long term solution but if you have one or two RV's in a particular location and then after a certain amount of time they move to another location citywide that's a lot better than 20 RV's in one spot."
The RVs that can't be driven out on Tuesday will be towed and placed in an impound for 10 days. Everything else will be thrown out.
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6-year-old boy dreams of forever home after family evicted from makeshift RV park in Oakland
BUILDING A BETTER BAY AREA
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