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Rendering: Berkeley City Council

Berkeley City Council voted unanimously last week to pass an ambitious proposal for short and long-term solutions addressing homelessness. Referred to as The Pathways Project, it hopes to directly help 1,000 people, which is the approximate number of homeless in Berkeley. City staff have now been instructed to expand the proposal, particularly its long-term goals.

Developed by Mayor Jesse Arreguin and Councilmembers Sophie Hahn, Linda Maio and Kriss Worthington, the first priority for The Pathway Project is the STAIR Center (pictured above). The STAIR Center (Center for Stability, Navigation and Respite) will be modeled after San Francisco’s Navigation Center. It will enact an “encampment triage” methodology, which will help move large groups of the homeless into healthier and more sanitary living conditions. There will be storage and facilities for pets, and stays are expected to last between one to two months. Only two rules will exist: no on-site drug or alcohol consumption, and no abuse or violence.

The BRIDGE Living Community, slated to be the second priority, will be a more community-oriented facility. There will be opportunities for job training, gardening, taking classes and mentorship provided by volunteers from local schools and organizations. “The intent is for the BRIDGE Living Community to connect homeless individuals to the larger community, and the larger community to their homeless neighbors.”

The project will also undertake the creation of a 1,000 Person Plan, which will be a full overview of all homeless housing projects that are currently being conceptualized or under construction, as well as the development of a plan “to purchase, lease, build or obtain housing and services for Berkeley’s homeless.” It is expected to encompass 10 years of long-term solutions.

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Rendering: Berkeley City Council

garden

Rendering: Berkeley City Council

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