1) The City Council allocated $4 million dollars in the 2015-2016 budget for case workers and encampment abatements and have initiated many efforts, led by the Housing Department, to get people housed.
2) On 9/22/15 City Council voted to pursue the purchase of the Plaza Hotel from the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency (SARA), and on 12/15/16, SARA and the Council approved the sale at the appraised value of $740,000 http://bit.ly/Homels6. On 3/15/16, the Council authorized the Housing Department to enter into an agreement with Abode Services to operate the property, and to spend up to $1.8M renovating the property. Renovations are expected to take three to six months, and the first tenants 10 are expected before the end of the year.
3) On 12/8/15 the City Council declared a Shelter Crisis in anticipation of harsh El Nino weather, allowing for warming centers to be opened at Bascom Community Center, Tully Community Library, Washington United Youth Center, and Bibliotheca Branch Library. http://bit.ly/Homels7
4) Early in 2016, the City Council voted to alleviate some of the red tape connected with houses of worship opening their doors as temporary inclement weather shelters for the most vulnerable in our community.
5) I was on the losing end of a recent vote to pursue City-sanctioned homeless encampments.
- over $550,000 in service costs.
6) Authorization of Housing funds to be used to acquire the Santa Clara Inn and partner with Abode Services to provide 56 units of supportive housing for the homeless. http://bit.ly/Homels8
7) Establishment of a pilot transitional housing community to address the immediate housing needs of homeless individuals utilizing 16 modular housing units, each having six to eight private rooms with shared bathroom and kitchen facilities. http://bit.ly/Homels9
8) In the December Priority Setting Session, Council asked staff in Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement to evaluate and recommend changes that would expand the City’s Secondary Unit Ordinance. Changes they are looking at include modifying the restrictions on such units, which are currently only allowed in areas zoned R-1, and expanding the ordinance to allow Secondary Units in other zoning areas such as R-2 and other multi-housing zones. These changes would expand the ability of homeowners to build small, secondary residential units on existing lots, which can then be made available for rent. The Secondary Unit Ordinance can be found in the City’s Municipal Code at http://bit.ly/1WS5rjQ-SUO.
9) The City Council also directed the Housing Department to coordinate their efforts with the County. On February 23rd, the Director of Housing reported to the City Council on the work occurring between the City and the County. View the Council meeting here: http://bit.ly/1PwZVLI-hmls54
10) The Mayor’s June Budget Message includes a recommendation to expand the Downtown Streets Team program that provides jobs to the homeless. In Fiscal Years 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, the Council appropriated funds to Downtown Streets Team for expansion of this critical program to Monterey Road. In addition to providing a critical service for our neighborhoods, it gives homeless individuals jobs. This year's 2016-2017 budget allocates $330,000 to start expanding this model throughout the City. To ensure that we sustain the investments we have made along Monterey Highway, the Mayor recommend the City Manager allocate $100,000 from the General Fund to continue this program for another year.
What's Being Done?
San Jose Citywide Homeless Outreach & Engagement Program
Outreach workers will respond within one business day to reports of homeless persons living on the streets and in encampments.
1) Volunteer with, or donate to, one of the many non-profits that serve the homeless; help out at a sanctioned local meal site; volunteer with a church or other house of worship that is providing temporary shelter. If you focus your efforts on services that provide food, shelter, and supportive resources to the homeless, in a structured environment, you can make a positive impact.
2) If you notice an encampment forming in or near your neighborhood, please contact the Homeless Hotline at 408-510-7600, or firstname.lastname@example.org and report the location with as much detail as you are able to provide.
3) If the encampment is located on Caltrans property, in addition to reporting it to the Homeless Hotline, report the encampment on the Caltrans website at: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/maint/msrsubmit/.
4) Reports of the encampments are appreciated, since we relay these reports to the City’s Homeless Response Team so they can begin the process of getting help to the homeless and getting encampments remediated.
Homelessness, along with other Health & Human Services, is the primary responsibility of the County of Santa Clara. They receive state and federal funds to support their efforts. However, because homelessness presents such big challenges to the City, we dedicate a portion of our City budget to partnering with the County to aid in their efforts to end homelessness.
The 2015 Santa Clara County Homeless Census and Survey revealed that there are 6,556 homeless persons living within the County of Santa Clara - over 4,000 of whom are living within the borders of the City of San Jose. At least 39% of the homeless have serious addiction and/or mental health issues, and these and other challenges make this a problem that cannot be easily solved or solved using a one-size-fits-all approach.
What Can You Do To Help?
1-877-428-8844 (toll free)
Free Housing Search Database & Support Center
In February 2015, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to create a new Homelessness Task Force, which includes a Councilmember from San Jose.
Below are some of the things that local governments, non-profits, faith communities, and individuals are doing to help those who find themselves in this difficult situation.
The homeless population is very diverse and faces complicated challenges.
Here is a link that will give you a good overview of what our community is dealing with in addressing the impacts of homelessness:
Please bear in mind that the City remains short staffed in many of our services and I ask for your patience in dealing with a particular encampment. If your situation becomes frustrating, don’t hesitate to contact my office via email at email@example.com or by phone at 408-535-4910. If you see something going on at an encampment that presents an immediate threat to public safety, please do not hesitate to call the SJPD at 9-1-1 (408-277-8911 from a mobile device).
Housing & Supportive Services
In the fall of 2013, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved $4 million a year toward a permanent supportive housing fund. More than 20 local partners, including the County, the City of San Jose, other agencies, nonprofits, and businesses, joined together to help House 1,000 chronically homeless in Santa Clara County.
For more information visit the Destination Home website at: http://bit.ly/1tzismC-desthome
Housing for Families
An important consideration in evaluating the effects of homelessness are the costs to the community. Here is a link to an assessment of the costs associated with our homeless population:
Operates 24 hours in English, Spanish, Vietnamese & 140 other languages.
Free, non-emergency information on available community services including assistance with basic needs, child & elder care, employment, health services, immigration, counseling, & opportunities to volunteer or donate.
Housing 1000 Program through Destination Home
Addressing Homelessness in San Jose