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New Oakland Homeless Shelter Using Storage Sheds Set To Open

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) -- A dozen people will get a fresh start in a new home Monday as the city of Oakland welcomes the first group of homeless people to live in a vacant lot set up with storage sheds.

On Monday morning, city workers were putting the finishing touches on the experimental shelters. Plans to use the storage sheds for temporary housing in Oakland were first announced early in October.

A group of 20 "Tuff Sheds" have been set up on the lot at Bush and 6th streets

"If you are encamped over from Castro to Market and 5th to 7th you got an invitation," said Oakland Assistant to the City Administrator Joe DeVries.

About a dozen people will move into the lot Monday, though eventually a total of 40 people from homeless encampments that surround the area will be using the lot for temporary housing.

The city of Oakland will provided services like social workers and health providers to the community.

The units measure 10 feet by 12 feet and look like little cabins. City officials say each one will house two people.

While the 20 sheds will be able to house 40 people, it is just a start. More than 2,000 people in Oakland are without homes.

"On the long term, we need to build more units. Luckily Oakland passed Measure KK which includes $100 million toward housing. Alameda County passed Measure A1, which is $6 million towards affordable housing. "

This new community is located just feet from sprawling homeless encampments.

The program, among the first tests for the city working to tackle the homeless crisis.

When asked if Oakland residents should expect to see more of these lots transformed into communities with storage sheds, DeVries replied, "If this is successful and we can identify the resources to replicate this, we absolutely will."

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