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    The Growth and Shifting Spatial Distribution of Tent Encampments in Oakland, California

    The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences

    Year: 2021

    Tent encampments have become an especially common form of homelessness in West Coast cities like Oakland, California, where the number of people living in tent encampments increased by 130 percent between 2017 and 2019. Living in tent encampments provides residents both benefits and risks, depending on the encampments’ location, size, and stability. Using data from Google Street Views, I document the growth and spatial dynamics of tent encampments in west and central Oakland over the last decade. The number and size of tent encampments rapidly increased between 2014 and 2019, varying widely in their stability. City interventions like the city’s outdoor transitional housing sites displaced several large tent encampments. Combined with overall tent encampment growth, these displacements dispersed the encampments throughout nearby neighborhoods and other parts of the city.

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