Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

CityTeam shelter a cafe for a day (sort of)

By awoodall
Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 at 3:03 pm in Night Owl, Old Oakland.

I was startled to find the CityTeam shelter transformed Sunday by colorful cafe tables and chairs, umbrellas and a “CAFE” sign over the door. “I just walked past here Friday night and it was not like this!” I told my boyfriend. Turns out, it was all a fantasy — a VW car commercial being filmed on Washington Street between Seventh and Ninth streets.
In fact, a fight was threatening to break out between two men over a bed on the Friday night I passed by, which was balmy and (otherwise) dreamy – notwithstanding the fact that I had just come from a trying evening of frustrating press announcements at OPD on Seventh after the arrest of Hasanni Campbell’s foster parents. (Looking at Glenn Dyer jail on Seventh, where the foster father was being held, from my rooftop patio I kept thinking about how strange it is that two realities could be so different yet within eyesight of each other.) 
It’s amazing the Old Oakland neighborhood is as peaceful as it is with OPD, the courthouse, Glenn Dyer jail, the men’s shelter, a women’s shelter, several SROs and some kind of halfway house all within three blocks of chic hangouts, nail salon, realtor, etc. and three upscale condo/apartment buildings. I kind of like the mix (aside from a man – not a CityTeam resident – who occasionally performs normally private acts upon himself in front of Kai’s) but have wondered for about 10 years how long the shelters will last.

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