Berkeleyside, by Kate Darby Rauch
On a quiet Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, neighbors on Evelyn Avenue in West Berkeley heard a commotion.
Police had arrived, there was shouting, and two brothers, Darryl Patrick, 58, and William “Bill” Patrick, 62, who had grown up and lived all their lives in the small stucco house at 1206 Evelyn Ave. were being forcibly removed, evicted to the street outside.
It was the second time in a year that the brothers, who both have some level of disability, have been kicked out of their childhood home. They are embroiled in a legal battle over the sale of the house, which once belonged to their mother. Carmel Patrick died five years ago, apparently without a will, forcing her estate into probate. Now her son-in-law, the court-appointed estate administrator, is seeking to sell the property to distribute funds to Carmel Patrick’s heirs.
The two brothers have nowhere to go. During the August eviction, neighbors rushed over to the find out what was going on and asked the police and the eviction lawyer to at least let Darryl and Bill stay temporarily in a defunct family RV parked on the street. This has been their home since, with no water, electricity or sewage line.
A third brother, Frederick “Fritz” Patrick, 63, was also named in the eviction order but was at Alta Bates Hospital, where he’s been off and on over the past year with a serious medical condition.
“They’ve lived all their lives in that house on that street and it’s traumatic and utterly disorienting for them to be evicted from the house,” said Osha Neumann, supervising attorney with the East Bay Community Law Center, who is a well-known homeless advocate, and one of those assisting the brothers.