Shelter and services for those sleeping and gathering in People’s Park.

We are aligned with those who care about the unhoused persons in the park, and in our community.

We believe we can and must do better than simply provide open camping space, that is unsafe and unsanitary, for those who do not have housing security. We believe the university has an obligation, as a member of the city’s community, to help address this crisis.

In 2021, Chancellor Christ promised that the site would not be closed unless and until housing, services, and a new daytime gathering center could be provided to unhoused people sleeping and/or gathering there. Since the summer of 2022, an unprecedented partnership between the university, the City of Berkeley, and the State of California has spent more than $6 million, in order to offer unhoused people who have been regularly living and/or gathering in the park, access to transitional housing and supportive services, and to a new daytime drop-in center that is providing food, restrooms, showers, and additional supportive services.

UC Berkeley's commitment to addressing the needs of its unhoused neighbors is long-standing, and pre-dates the announcement of this construction project. Since July 2017, the university has employed a full time social worker who has been serving and supporting those who lived and/or gathered on the site. To date he has helped more than 200 people find permanent housing.

Interim housing with services.

In November 2023, offers of interim housing in a converted motel, as well as a wide array of services that support their transition to permanent housing, were extended by UC Berkeley's social worker to all 25 unhoused persons that were sleeping in People's Park on a regular basis.

  • The response was overwhelmingly positive, with 21 of the 25 accepting these offers and successfully transitioning to indoor accommodations within days.
  • No one was forced to relocate to temporary housing.
  • No personal belongings were discarded without permission by the owner.
  • Other shelter options were, and are still being offered to those few who chose not to relocate.

In partnership with the City of Berkeley, UC Berkeley has master-leased a nearby property, the Quality Inn, and collaborated with Dorothy Day House to manage a transitional housing program at this location for six months. The city and campus are working together in a united effort to meet the needs of the unhoused people at the park, and will share in the costs for the Quality Inn, which are estimated at $1 million.

At the Quality Inn, every resident is provided with:

  • A private guest room with a bathroom that has recently been remodeled.
  • Daily meal service for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Clean linens and essential toiletries.
  • Regular housekeeping service and front desk support.
  • Access to secure storage for personal belongings.
  • Access to laundry facilities.

This effort is similar to the Rodeway Inn that was previously and successfully used to provide interim housing to 89 people who had been camping in People's Park in the fall of 2022.

Quality Inn, Berkeley - Guest Room

Image: Choice Hotels International, Inc.

Quality Inn, Berkeley - Guest Room

Image: Choice Hotels International, Inc.

Services are available to Quality Inn residents.

The city and campus have partnered with Dorothy Day House, a local, highly experienced non-profit, to provide support to the community at the Quality Inn.

Services provided to every resident at the Quality Inn include:

  • Daily meal service for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  • Professional staff who will operate the Quality Inn and maintain a safe and secure environment for everyone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Housing navigators to provide hands-on assistance to transition Quality Inn residents to permanent housing solutions.

  • On-site care coordinators to support life goals, including connections to job training and professional skills development.

We’re proud to honor the legacy of People’s Park and better meet the needs of our community through an effort that’s deeply reflective of Berkeley’s values. This partnership will put a roof over the heads of those living in People’s Park, instead of simply pushing them from one neighborhood to another. I’m deeply appreciative of all the partners that came together to make this happen.
Mayor Jesse Arreguín, City of Berkeley