As move out gets closer and closer, I want to provide you all with some information to consider as each of your units are making plans. Peter Radu (Assistant to the City Manager for the City of Berkeley) reached out to share that we are fortunate to live in a city where so many residents want to help our unhoused neighbors, especially those living in homeless encampments. However, the accumulation of debris and food sources at encampments across the city has created the perfect conditions for rats and other rodents, and the City has been tracking an uptick in rodent activity at several encampments across Berkeley. Rats are a disease vector that can cause very serious health and safety impacts to those living in encampments and their neighbors.
Unsolicited donations of furniture, clothing, food, and other materials at encampments may seem like a gesture of good will to those in need, but can actually create unsafe conditions that are perfect burrows and breeding grounds for rats. We urge you to consider avoiding such donations, especially of open food sources, to encampments, and instead consider donating to one of the City’s numerous nonprofit social service agencies that directly serve the homeless population, including:
- Berkeley Food Network,
- Dorothy Day House,
- Berkeley Food and Housing Project, and
- Women’s Daytime Drop-In Center,
- All of the organizations provide meals and food resources to people experiencing homelessness in Berkeley;
You can learn more about other nonprofit agencies serving people experiencing homelessness here: https://www.cityofberkeley.info/homeless-entry/services/. Please consider visiting the website or calling these nonprofits to inquire about their need and capacity to accept donations.
UC Berkeley will also work with the City of Berkeley to host the Cooperative Moveout program again this year. Cal Move Out 2022 will happy in May and you can learn more about the program here:
I will update you all as I get more information about these programs.
Dr. Steve Ross, Ed.D (he/him)
Cooperative Experience Manager