Unsheltered Resources

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The ongoing challenge of addressing increasing homelessness is one that we take seriously. People experiencing homelessness are surviving anywhere and any way they can, which often means they are finding refuge on Brentwood city streets and neighborhoods. Sadly, the number is increasing due to COVID, poverty, mental health issues, and lack of affordable housing.

Being homeless is not a crime; the city has taken a strategic and collaborative approach to address the growing unsheltered population concerns. Coordinated efforts with the City’s Police Department, Community Enrichment team, Public Works Department and our regional partners Contra Costa County C.O.R.E. team (Coordinated Outreach Referral & Engagement)211.org, and Contra Costa County Mental Health Evaluation Team (MHET) can assist individuals in finding a more permanent solution to their homeless situation.

The Police Department responds and continues to monitor incidents while respecting the unsheltered individuals' rights and ensuring public safety. We encourage you to report any non-emergency illegal activity that is taking place by calling the Police Department’s non-emergency number at (925) 809-7911.

Process for removing encampments:

  • A complaint is received by the City’s homeless liaison
  • Homeless liaison evaluates location and resources needed to clean the area
  • Homeless liaison offers resources to the unsheltered individuals
  • 72- hour vacate notice is posted, allowing the unsheltered individuals to collect their belongings and relocate
  • Cleaning crew is scheduled and assigned an area
  • Area is cleaned, and remaining “property” is then stored for 90 days to be collected by the owner before discarded consistent with the law

Community Town Hall on Homelessness

On January 24, 2024, the City of Brentwood Police Department hosted a Community Town Hall to discuss homelessness in our City. You can view the video recording below. If you have additional questions, please contact our Homeless Liaison, CSO Stanley at rstanley@brentwoodca.gov.

Unlawful Camping

In Martin V. City of Boise, the Ninth Circuit Court ruled that anti-camping laws violate the US Constitution when there is no shelter available in the jurisdiction. The City can still issue citations and make arrests for activities that violate the law, but not for sleeping on public property. The courts have ruled that the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment bars a City from prosecuting people criminally for sleeping outside on public property when those people have no home or other shelter to which they can go.

  • Some areas do not fall within the City's jurisdiction and must be reported to other state and local municipalities. Brentwood includes parcels belonging to nearly a dozen public agencies.
  • Often times after a clean-up/removal is completed, individuals may return to the same or adjacent location. At which time the removal process starts again consistent with the law.

Losing Your Housing?

Call 211 or Text "HOPE" to 20121

Free confidential service available 24/7
Callers will be matched and referred to appropriate county programs.
Contra Costa "Get Help" Website

Unsheltered Resources

Additionally, we've provided contact numbers for common unsheltered issues:

  • Abandoned Vehicles (on City streets): (925) 809-7827
  • Contra Costa Animal Services (Animal Shelter): (925) 608-8400
  • Community Enrichment (Code Enforcement): (925) 516-5405
  • Graffiti Abatement: (925) 516-6000
  • Parks Maintenance: (925) 516-5444
  • Public Works: (925) 516-6000


According to the 2020 Contra Costa County Annual Point in Time Report taken in January 2020, there are 80 unsheltered adults in Brentwood. This count was based on new federal methodology that included estimates based on certain sleep settings. For example, of the 80 counted in Brentwood, County staff confirmed half were counted from more than 20 vehicles (cars, vans, RV’s) that appeared to be serving unsheltered residents, some of whom reside here during the night and then go to work during the day. This would be the “technical” count according to federal methodologies. According to the Brentwood Police Department, another count mentioned publicly is the “practical” count of those who are seen and heard regularly of approximately 35 individuals . Both counts are valid and represent different segments of the unsheltered in Brentwood, those seen and unseen.


To read the Brentwood Municipal Code(s) applicable to some of the recent topics of interest, click the link(s) below:


Municipal Code

Alcoholic beverage—open container in public BMC 9.36.010
All solicitation prohibited at specified locations BMC 9.12
Animals at large Contra Costa County Code Animal Ordinance, Division 416-4.402
Unlawful Camping* BMC 7.02.150
Living or sleeping in vehicles or trailers BMC 8.00.030
Noise regulations BMC 9.32
Parking for consecutive period of seventy-two hours—Prohibited BMC 10.13.060
Public urination or defecation BMC 9.16.040
Removal of recyclable material prohibited BMC 8.16.300
Shopping carts BMC 8.00.030

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