More Tuff Sheds Promised In Oakland For Homeless People

Matt Bigler
January 08, 2019 - 3:31 pm

OAKLAND — One day after being sworn into office for a second term, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf served sandwiches to folks at homeless encampments, although some residents doubted her commitment to helping them. 

After making smoked turkey breast sandwiches at the House of Dignity, Schaaf renewed her promise to build more tiny homes known as Tuff Sheds to replace tent camps like one seen under the I-580 freeway near Emeryville. 

"These sheds provide shelter, warmth, privacy, dignity, a safe place to store things 24/7 and a place where people can go to bed at night behind a locked door with their partner and their pet," said Schaaf. 

Some sheds are already in place and Schaaf said the city plans to install additional units at four locations in 2019. Schaaf cited city figures that 70 percent of the people accepted into a Tuff Shed last year have moved on to permanent or transitional housing. 

Shawn Livingston is one of about 70 people who've carved out a space under the freeway. He was skeptical of Schaaf's visit. 

"What's a sack lunch going to do?" asked Livingston, who said his Social Security payments have been cut off and he has no family in the area. "It could feed the people, but they'll still be homeless."