Unsheltered Resources

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


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.


Concerns such as abandoned shopping carts, debris on private property, encampments, and other issues related to quality of life inside city limits can be quickly and easily reported via Brentwood Connect 24/7, the mobile app online work order platform that sends your request directly to City staff.

Brentwood Connect 24/7



CALL 211 or Text "HOPE" to 20121
Callers will be matched and referred to appropriate county programs.

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 (https://cchealth.org/h3/coc/pdf/PIT-report-2020.pdf), 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:


Brentwood Municipal Code Reference

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


Link to the 9/29/2020  Brentwood Unsheltered: Virtual Town Hall