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Unhoused at Berkeley encampment score a legal victory and reprieve

Lawsuit filed to halt sweeps of Berkeley homeless encampment
Lawsuit filed to halt sweeps of Berkeley homeless encampment 03:37

BERKELEY -- The city of Berkeley's plans to evict people living at a major homeless encampment have been put on hold after a legal victory for the unhoused people who reside there.

A group of lawyers sued Berkeley and successfully got an injunction put in place that bars the city from removing the encampment in West Berkeley at the corner of 8th and Harrison. 

KPIX spoke with one man who lived at the encampment about how he feels about the case. 

Leon Algure doesn't have a home. Right now, he says he moves from one Berkeley encampment to another every night. But before that, he lived at the encampment on 8th and Harrison for over a year

He says many of the people he met at the encampment still live there. When he heard the city was trying to sweep the encampment, he got angry. 

A few of the people who live at 8th and Harrison contacted lawyers to try and stop the city. The legal victory the lawyers recently scored puts an injunction in place that bars the city from clearing the encampment until at least Sept. 27. On that date, lawyers representing the city and the encampment will have their day in court. 

Lawyers for the city are arguing the encampment is a health risk. But lawyers for those in the encampment counter that the city hasn't provided an alternative location for people to go. Berkeley is also not providing resources for those residents who have disabilities. 

Algure said many of them are keeping a close eye on the case, but remain confident they'll be able to stay. He says out of all the places he has lived, the 8th and Harrison encampment is actually one of the best. 

He always felt safe and felt like everyone who lived there looks out for one another. He says he just wishes the city would do the same. 

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