Campus & community, Campus news

People’s Park – Media Fact Sheet

UC Berkeley's plans for People's Park

An architectural rendering of the new student housing that will be built in People's Park.
A rendering of the student housing that will be built in People's Park with a view from the corner of Bowditch Street and Dwight Way. (Image: LMS Architects/Hood Design Studio)
An architectural rendering of the new student housing that will be built in People's Park.

A rendering of the student housing that will be built in People’s Park with a view from the corner of Bowditch Street and Dwight Way. (Image: LMS Architects/Hood Design Studio)

Our plan for People’s Park:

  1. Two-thirds of the site remains as open public park space. Many trees will be preserved, many more new trees and native plantings will be added to the newly revitalized park.
  2. Below-market apartments for more than 1,100 UC Berkeley undergraduates.
  3. In a separate building, 125 apartments of permanent supportive housing.
  4. Create permanent commemorations of the park’s history – of which, none exist today.

UC Berkeley students support the People’s Park project by a 2:1 Margin.

  • Berkeley’s mayor and vice-mayor, members of the city council, the media, our neighbors, local churches, and professionals who have dedicated their lives to helping unhoused people, all support our plans for People’s Park. We are grateful for their support.

Unhoused persons sleeping in the park voluntarily relocated to the Rodeway Inn.

  • No one was forced to relocate to the Rodeway Inn. Other shelter options were, and are still being offered to those who chose not to relocate. No personal belongings were discarded without permission by the owner.
  • Nearly everyone at the park accepted offers of shelter and supportive services at the Rodeway Inn. The City of Berkeley, is leading this effort, having leased the Rodeway Inn for 18 months with $4.7m in funding provided by the State, and another $2.2m provided by UC Berkeley.
  • 46 unhoused persons moved to the Rodeway Inn. They are all now on the path to permanent housing; several are already in the process of transitioning into permanent housing.
  • Offers of shelter remain available to the few people who have chosen instead to sleep outdoors.

New daytime drop-in center is now open one block from People’s Park.

  • Unhoused community members are free to drop-in to rest, use a bathroom, charge electronic devices, get water or prepare a meal, and meet with staff and volunteers of public and non-profit agencies that provide services to the unhoused, such as counseling and housing navigation.
  • Located on the grounds of the First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, the drop-in center was designed by a Berkeley faculty member and  is being jointly funded by the City and campus, with services provided by an experienced local non-profit organization, The Village of Love.
  • Unlike the park, the drop-in center is purpose built and designed to be fully ADA compliant.

Unhoused persons are frequently the victims of terribly violent crimes at People’s Park.

  • In the last 7 years alone, that includes 3 homicides and more than 200 reported assaults and batteries, dozens of which involved deadly weapons.
  • Students and the public tend to avoid the park in part due to the frequency of violent crimes reported there. Our plan will transform the park into a safe and accessible place for all.

Background information:

Download: High-res project renderings (Google drive)