Residents of an unhoused community along Wood Street in Oakland demonstrated outside City Hall on Tuesday, asking local leaders for a place to sleep as Caltrans is evicting them from their current home.

During their peaceful vigil, the residents said they want to work in unison with city leaders such as the City Council and city administration on a solution. They also want the city to open at least 8 acres of the North Gateway parcel on the former Oakland Army Base where residents can live. Wood Street residents want the city to cut through red tape. Otherwise, they may be scattered throughout the city.

“This is a crisis,” said James Vann, an early founder of the Homeless Advocacy Working Group in the city. “And the city has to act like it’s a crisis.”

City officials are opposed to letting Wood Street residents live on the North Gateway parcel because of challenges involving toxic substances and federal restrictions on residential use of the land.