This report contains a clarification.
Less than a month after homeless residents began moving into 91 RVs in Oakland, residents are complaining about electricity that cuts out during the daytime, problems with water leaks and a lack of hand railings on steep steps.
The trailers are part of Operation HomeBase, a safe quarantine site on Hegenberger Road near Oakland International Airport, which city officials established for people over the age of 65 or who have health conditions that make them especially vulnerable to the coronavirus.
City officials said they expected some growing pains and are working to correct the problems.
"In setting up a brand new facility from scratch so quickly, we expected adjustments," said Karen Boyd, a city spokesperson. "And [we] are working with residents and maintenance crews to address them."
Oakland resident Delbra Taylor, 68, moved in with her ex-husband on May 11, about a week after the city officially opened the site. It's been one struggle after the other, she said.
When she moved in, she had to buy her own sheets, pillows and towels because there were none there, she said, using her own precious Social Security income on the items.
The RV she was in lacked hot water, so they were moved to another one. The RV she is in now has a leak, so Taylor has been forced to use towels to soak up water that streams from the bathroom sink whenever it's in use.
Two weeks ago, she fractured her arm coming out of her RV because it has no hand rails.
"I told them, I said, 'This is dangerous,' " Taylor said in a phone interview. But, she said, nothing was done. Days later, she slipped.
"My whole body bounced on the ground, and I knew in that moment I was not getting up," she said.