‘Free money!’ Landlord offers homeless $2,000 each to leave Oakland Home Depot camp

Sacramento Bee

Dressed as an elf, holding a megaphone and standing on a boom lift, a landlord made an unusual offer on Friday at a homeless camp near a Home Depot in Oakland, California.

Free money! Free money!” local developer Gene Gorelik told residents of the camp and activists assembled to support them, according to Vivian Ho, a reporter for The Guardian who live-tweeted the bizarre spectacle as it unfolded around 9 a.m. 

Residents and their supporters, unimpressed with the stunt, chanted “housing is a human right, fight fight fight” in response and drove Gorelik away from the area, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The newspaper reported that police escorted Gorelik away “before he got the chance to turn on a leaf blower to shower them with cash.” Gorelik was sporting a “Make Oakland Great Again” hat and had people blowing up huge inflatable eagles, photos show.

None of the residents took Gorelik up on his offer to pay them $2,000 each to move out of the camp, Bay Area News Group reports.

“I think this is just to degrade us, honestly, to make us feel low,” said Maria Fuentes, a resident of the camp, according to the publication. “I don’t think he’s offering any kind of help.”

The Home Depot has been calling for the city to remove the make-shift communities of tents, vehicles and RVs that have sprung up in the area, Bay Area News Group reports. Oakland’s city council unanimously voted this week to block off a street near the encampment to keep people from accessing the area, KALW reports.

Gorelik’s Facebook event for the stunt was called “Operation Save Home Depot,” and in the event description he wrote that “Home Depot Oakland could be forced to close because it is under attack by Libbyland” — a reference to the city’s mayor, Libby Schaaf.

Home Depot spokeswoman Margaret Smith said Gorelik doesn’t have a relationship with the store, the Chronicle reported.

East Oakland Collective’s Facebook event for the counter-protest described Gorelik as a “notorious local slumlord and Trump supporter” who planned the stunt to “bully the curbside community at E. 8th Street and Alameda Ave.” The event description said “we are asking the community to stand together to protect our curbside communities against hate, xenophobia and anti-homeless behavior.”

Residents of the camp spoke up for themselves on Friday, too.

“We don’t bother anybody,” said 65-year-old Curtis James, who lives in a small home at the camp, according to the Chronicle. “There is no violence here. It’s just frustrating. It bothers me, but I just know I have to hold my ground and stay strong. It is what it is.”

But some have blamed crime and blight on the homeless encampments, with Oakland city councilman Noel Gallo telling KGO that “people are stealing their equipment, their materials, assaulting their customers.” The TV station reported that most of the encampment is on city land near the home improvement supply store.

Gallo said he’s worried the company will pack up and leave Oakland.

“The reality is, I don’t want to lose 200 to 300 jobs that are here at Home Depot,” Gallo told the TV station. “Those are entry-level jobs and if I lose Home Depot I’m going to have more people out on the street.”

Gorelik cited fears for his safety in declining to comment on the stunt, according to the Chronicle.


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8 Responses to ‘Free money!’ Landlord offers homeless $2,000 each to leave Oakland Home Depot camp

  1. 'ol stewbum says:

    Anti-homeless is a bad thing?!?!
    Evidently, those people are most comfortable in their squallor rather than seeking a way out of it.

  2. Mark Schumacher in LV says:

    The landlord is trying to flip the property, and the new owner is probably going to have to do improvements. Raising the rents is all part of the deal. They’re throwing out the homeless to make the bank happy, so they will loan the new owner the money.

    This is the whole goddamn problem with these shit realestate developers, this is what they do. The middle class gets screwed because now they cant afford the increased rents, and soon will be homeless themselves.

    This is how the Trump family got rich, by screwing everybody else by that quick flip. All it does is create false wealth, while the banks loan worthless money to these scumbag Jews that play these games.

    So now, we have thousands of apartments, that are way overpriced per apartment so the whole enchilada makes sense to the Jew bank to loan the money to the Jew scumbag flipping the property, for millions of dollars in profit.

    Nobody benefits. As long as interest rates are low, this shit happens, this is why Trump is a piece of shit, along with his shit family.

    They’re not really realestate developer’s, they are Trump false economy developers, every godamned one of these pieces of shit needs a rope.

    • Mark Schumacher in LV says:

      They want a more pretty look around the apartments for a quick no hassle flip, the homeless camps muddy up the place, what a crock of shit, as some Jew is about to make a killing on the sale after holding on to it for a couple years, millions of dollars more if the homeless camps are gone. Is this really freedom for American National? Or is it freedom for the pieces of shit making millions of dollars.

      Hey Trump, fk you!, and all your kike buddies…

  3. galen says:

    In Ca., $2,000 will last you five minutes, or maybe two weeks. What an insult to people who are struggling.

    How about we fix the country and take care of our own with jobs and with all the resources that belong to us?


  4. # 1 NWO Hatr says:

    “Dressed as an elf,…”


  5. # 1 NWO Hatr says:

    “… described Gorelik as a “notorious local slumlord and Trump supporter”


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