BERKELEY, Calif. - Gov. Gavin Newsom visited a homeless encampment and helped remove debris in Berkeley on Monday, joining a Caltrans crew cleaning up a long-standing encampment along Interstate 80 at University Avenue.
The team of state outreach workers also offered options for unhoused people to move out of their tents and into shelters or other housing.
The governor said the state needs to develop a humane process for moving people and clearing camps while also creating more housing options.
"What you see here is unacceptable," Newsom said. "We had a big fire here. This is a high safety risk, a public health risk. There are hundreds and hundreds of rats running around. People should not live in conditions like this and we've accepted it too long."
Caltrans will use $1.1 billion from its budget to clean up, relandscape, beautify and secure the sites along freeways and underneath overpasses, according to its officials.