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Oakland Considers Way Forward As Homeless Encampments Grow

Jeffrey Hill's tent burned down in an encampment fire in late May 2017. The cause of the fire is not known. Hill calls his encampment at Fifth and Brush streets a "family," but also says it has become harder to maintain order as the encampment has grown in size. (Devin Katayama/KQED)
Jeffrey Hill's tent burned down in an encampment fire in late May 2017. The cause of the fire is not known. Hill calls his encampment at Fifth and Brush streets a "family," but also says it has become harder to maintain order as the encampment has grown in size. (Devin Katayama/KQED)

California has the largest number of homeless people living without shelter in the country. More than two-thirds of the state’s 118,000 homeless live on the streets or in tent encampments, many in the state’s largest cities. This is certainly true in Oakland, a city that prides itself on its progressive values.

But helping homeless encampments has proven to be a hard task for the city, which is also trying to welcome new development. From Here & Now contributor KQED, Devin Katayama (@RadioDevin) reports on why the encampments are vulnerable and also what makes them strong.

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