Media advisory: People’s Park closed as construction begins

What: Earlier this morning, UC Berkeley closed People’s Park and began construction of urgently needed student housing and permanent supportive housing for formerly unhoused people. The project will preserve more than 60% of the site as revitalized green space, and will include a memorialization of the park’s past and historical significance.

As the result of an unprecedented partnership with the State of California, the City of Berkeley, and local non-profit organizations, unhoused people who had been gathering and/or sleeping in the park have been provided with transitional housing and a new daytime drop-in center.

When work began earlier this morning, there were two or three unhoused people in the park, each of whom had been previously offered shelter; repeatedly notified that the park was soon to be closed, and informed that overnight camping in the park is not permitted. Last night, alternative shelter, transportation, and storage for belongings was offered again to each and every person when the park was closed, an offer that remains available for all who need and want it.

Additional information about the project, the preparations, and plans for the future can be found here.

Coverage details: Credentialed reporters are welcome to come to the People’s Park site, but please be aware that the site itself is now closed for the duration of construction. In addition, due to safety concerns, surrounding streets have temporarily been closed for the next few days. Reporters will need to walk to the designated observation area, at the corner of Haste and Bowditch. Broadcast outlets, please note there will be no access to the park’s perimeter for vans, or vehicles of any type.

The on-site work planned for today includes the placement of construction site fencing; removal of trees from and around the footprints of the new buildings; and dismantling the stage, as well as the temporary kitchen, which ceased food preparation in the early spring.

Contact Information: For additional information and interview requests, please contact either:

Kyle Gibson: kyle.gibson@berkeley.edu, (510) 495-5786

Dan Mogulof: dmogulof@berkeley.edu, (510) 919-6954

Note: If events and interest warrant, we will also schedule a media availability in the early afternoon at a TBD location. If you and/or your reporter assigned to the story wish to be notified about the time and location of any press event, please send an email to Kyle or Dan with the names and contact info for those who would likely attend.