Home Depot Execs Visit Oakland About Homeless Camps Near Stores

Executives from The Home Depot were in Oakland Thursday to meet with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf about two homeless camps that sit close to two of their stores.

The Atlanta-based company says it's not leaving Oakland, but it wants change. Schaaf and City Councilman Noel Gallo met with a team of execs and attorneys from the home improvement giant.

Gallo says he’s against one proposal: forcing dozens of homeless families to pack up their stuff and move just a block away.

"The city has a plan that they want to relocate the campers and the activity to the grassy lot, the empty lot on High Street that belongs to the city," Gallo said. "It’s not gonna solve anything."

The lot on High Street is next door to a car wash and car window repair shop.

Employees there say shuffling the camp around is not a solution.

"It’s kind of like their own flea market-slash-sleeping area," said Joseph Vila of Knockout Glass and Repair. "There’s no spots to move these guys. I feel bad for them, but what’s the plan?"

The Home Depot execs stopped by the East Oakland store. Company’s vice president Steve Knott said: "We look forward to continuing to work with the city to implement a plan that is thoughtful and respectful."

Schaaf says Home Depot is a valued partner in the community, and she appreciates Home Depot’s patience. The company is still paying Oakland police officers overtime to secure their East Oakland store.

It's not clear exactly when the city will move the homeless camp to High Street.

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