Homeless encampment at Union Point Marina, Oakland

Holly Quan/KCBS Radio

Boat Dwellers, Homeless in Uneasy Proximity

Another Point of Conflict in Oakland

KCBS Radio Morning News
November 19, 2018 - 7:55 am

OAKLAND (KCBS Radio) -- A quiet setting along the Oakland Estuary belies a harsh reality: it's another point of conflict in Oakland's widening homeless crisis.

The Union Point Marina offers slips to visiting boaters as well as "liveaboards", who pay more than $500 a month to rent a slip. That fee is considered a bargain in the sky-high Bay Area housing market.

But a few feet away from those boats is another community at Union Point: a homeless encampment. "It's a huge problem," said Sam McKee, who handles maintenance at the marina, which is run by Southern California-based Almar Marinas.

McKee points to steel restroom doors he installed after the wooden ones were damaged. He plans to install an electronic key card system to limit restroom access to boat owners. He says people from the homeless encampment have damaged marina facilities.

That's confirmed by Mike Dominguez, who camps on the beach near the marina and told KCBS reporter Holly Quan he'd seen people from the Marina Point encampment damage electrical equipment while trying to illegally connect power cords.

McKee said he'd cleared the encampment out once, but it didn't stick. "We just need to get the encampment out of here, that's the main problem," Mc Kee said.