Homeless Count Drops in Emeryville & Berkeley while Oakland’s Continues to Climb

2 mins read

Emeryville’s homeless population dropped significantly from two years ago according to the preliminary Alameda County ‘Point in Time’ biennial count.

The number of unsheltered residents within the city’s borders decreased from 91 to 37 representing a 59% decline. “Unsheltered” is typically defined by those living on the streets, in tents or vehicles.

The percentage of sheltered homeless in Emeryville was unchanged as the city has not added any housing units targeting the homeless within this timeframe. The city did break ground on a 90-unit supportive housing project last year that will house as many as 140 transitioning/formerly homeless individuals. It is expected to complete construction and begin occupancy in mid-2025. Cost of the project is expected to exceed $90 million.

Data: EveryoneHome Dashboard

Emeryville Councilmember John Bauters was quick to link the recent creation of housing in the city to the decline in homeless population.

Emeryville’s population grew nearly 5% from last year leading East Bay cities in percentage growth. A bulk of this growth likely came from the completion of The Emery and Bayview projects that combine for 686 housing units. The planning and construction for both of these projects took over a decade.

Emeryville’s homeless “zones” have typically been around the parking areas of the Peninsula and frontage roads, under the Powell Street overpass and previously behind the Home Depot and the former Nady Site. The Nady site has now been developed into apartments and Caltrans has clamped down on the Home Depot area. The Powell underpass (shown in the feature area of this story) was fenced off last year to prevent the homeless camped underneath it from returning. Collectively, these were the likely sources of much of the decline in the city’s homeless population.

Berkeley demonstrated probably the greatest success in compelling the homeless off the streets and into shelter as they decreased their homeless street population from 1,057 to 844 (-20%) while increasing the percentage of sheltered residents (57%).


Both Emeryville and Berkeley’s totals have dropped in successive counts after peaking in 2019.

Oakland Homeless Totals Climb 9%

Meanwhile, vast Oakland continued struggle to contain homelessness within its borders. Oakland’s homeless population increased by 9% in this two year span after increasing 24% from 2020 to 2022.

Despite the phased closure of the Wood Street encampment, RVs, tents and improvised structures are prevalent down the street. Oakland’s struggles to contain street homelessness have been compared to a game of “whack-a-mole”.

The county data does not provide any “migration” patterns for homeless who often move to a neighboring community when sweeps are administered.

The E’ville Eye created this short video to spotlight the bike/ped discrepancies between municipalities and need for better connectivity from the Emeryville Greenway to Mandela Parkway.

County Numbers See Dip

Overall homelessness dropped by 3% throughout the County with the number of unsheltered residents decreasing by 11% from 2022.

Spending on homeless solutions has come under increasing scrutiny in light of a state audit that revealed the spending of $24 Billion on homeless programs but failing to track outcomes. The lack of accountability and results has frustrated California Governor Gavin Newsom who has pledged greater oversight. “I’m not interested in funding failure any longer,” he said tersely at an April press conference while pushing a spending plan.

Newsom and other leaders have been closely monitoring the Supreme Court oral arguments on the City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson case that could provide municipalities with greater authority to clear encampments when shelter space is available.

The Point in time totals are conducted by a team of volunteers on a single night in January. Some have pointed out flaws in the way the data is collected that could lead to undercounting of our homeless population.


The full results of these surveys will be released in a complete report later this year. View the complete county data on everyonehome.org and their full press release here.

You can read a comprehensive analysis on the Berkeley data on Berkeleyside and Oakland’s on The Oaklandside.

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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.


  1. We cleared camps. We pushed people out. We also don’t count our eviction numbers and how Emeryville residents are displaced.

  2. We barely actually helped housed people and just drove them to other places. Only thing we have done is add 90 units and the gesture to the massive amounts of expstive housing we built.

    Noone on the street is going to be able to live in the Emery they have literally on 19 units out of the 600 dedicated to lower income families. It’s going to sit vacant or be moved into by richer people who are going to drive the gentrification even more.

    Emeryvilles minium wage is 18 bucks an hour. A third of that monthly income is a little less than 1000 a month. There is nothing being built for that price point. And if you’re a tipped worker you’re even more fucked

    If the lowest rung of those employed in the city can’t find a place to stay you have failed. Fucking disgusting. This isn’t just pushing shit around. Helping people and getting them on their feet saves the city money too. From every angle its just so fuckint stupid

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