Homeless Encampment Research


This page contains links to documents resulting from the U.C. Berkeley research on homeless encampments in creeks in Contra Costa County. The research was funded by the Contra Costa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District (FC District) and done from August 2012 to August 2013.

The purpose of the research was to gain an understanding of:

  • Why certain encampment sites are chosen by the homeless.
  • How to reduce the number and size of encampments in a humane, effective, and practical manner.

Motivation for this research is the desire to:

  • Reduce costs associated with encampment cleanups.
  • Reduce the trash and other pollutants that enter the creeks and are associated with encampments.

Research Documents 


Homeless Encampments in Contra Costa County (PDF) by Saneta Devuono-powell, Summer 2013.


by Saneta Devuono-powell

Homeless Encampment Research Presentation 2013 (PDF)

Homeless Encampment Research Presentation 2013 with notes (PDF)

by Flood Control Staff

Homelessness and Water Pollution: Thinking Outside the Channel (PDF) - 2014-03-12


Homeless Encampments in Contra Costa Waterways (PDF)Regulatory Constraints, Environmental Imperatives and Humane Strategies by Saneta Devuono-powell, a Professional Report Submitted for Masters of City Planning — Committee: Malo Hutson, Carolina Reid, Spring 2013.

Appendices (PDF)

Suitability Map (PDF)

Other Resources

Contra Costa County Homeless Program

The Contra Costa County Homeless Program was instrumental in assisting in the research. They provided an avenue for the researcher to "embed" into the work of Project Hope (now H3). This allowed the researcher access to homeless encampments by shadowing Project Hope staff and, therefore, collect valuable data through observations and interviews.

Related Publications

Collective Impact (PDF): Published in 2011 by John Kania & Mark Kramer in the "Stanford Social Innovation Review," this paper provides an excellent description for the framework of Collective Impact from which the County will be working internally and with other agencies to address the homeless issues it struggles with.

Contra Costa Inter-jurisdictional Council on Homelessness

Meeting Minutes for Friday, June 14, 2013 (PDF), where Saneta Devuono-powell presented early findings the the Council’s meeting.

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