City staff estimated that about 30-35 people from the village of makeshift shelters on the Bulb visited the "Services Fair," which was co-organized by the city and by the Berkeley Food & Housing Project, which has a contract from the city to assist the homeless is obtaining housing and services.
The City wants to make the city-owned Bulb part of part of McLaughlin Eastshore State Park. The City Council voted in May to ask the police department to begin enforcing the city's no-camping ordinance at the Bulb this month. An estimated 60-70 people are living at the Bulb.
The Services Fair was scheduled to run from 2-4:30 p.m. Attendance was sparse when Patch arrived shortly after 3:30 p.m. The service agencies began packing up before 4 p.m.
A representative of the Contra Costa County agency, Anka Behavorial Health, also known as MSC, said "a handful, not too many" people stopped at the group's table.
One popular stop was the Berkeley Food & Housing Project tables and van, where free pizza, beverages and clothing were being given away.
The project's housing specialist, Laverne Haywood, said the agency has succeeded in placing one Bulb resident in housing so far and is working with about a dozen others in meeting requirements and completing applications for housing programs.
In addition, a number of residents have indicated that they may seek housing on their own, including in shared housing arrangements, Haywood said.
The event followed a "camp-out" gathering at the Bulb on Wednesday evening by opponents of the plan to evict the Bulb residents.
Also on Wednesday, the City of Albany was sued in Alameda County Superior Court by Bulb resident Amber Wilson, homeless home-care aide Betty Stephenson and the nonprofit Albany Housing Advocates. The suit claims that the city has violated state requirements for local affordable housing plans.
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