Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Homeless in Santa Clara County: No More Room for Housing?

Santa Clara County residents may have heard a lot on the homeless. Every day on the streets of Santa Clara County, I have seen a ton of people having a cart full of sleeping material. Day after day, and night after night, the number of people being homeless in Santa Clara County have increased. So could there be any action by the county to deal with the sharp increase in the number of homeless?  In this blog, I give my short take on the current state of the homeless population in Santa Clara County.

The center of the big bulk of the homeless population centers in the 10th largest city in the United States, San Jose. Homeless encampments are still growing, sometimes scattered around the Silicon Valley. Downtown San Jose is one of the places that I've seen a handful of homeless population both on the streets and under bridges and over crossings. No one have seemed to notice, and no one is checking. Not even once that the city of San Jose have checked for anyone sleeping under the bridges. 

Santa Clara County supervisor Dave Cortese wants to do something about the growing number of homeless people. He does promise that the people living on the streets will find someplace to live. In terms of the housing market, there isn't much space that could be reserved for the homeless. I never heard from people whether there is any moves by Santa Clara County or the city of San Jose to place homeless people in newly-built homes. 

The Community Homeless Alliance Ministry (CHAM) is also heavily involved, led by Pastor Scott Wagers. Wagers spoke many times on the issues of the homeless. When I took pictures of the scene all over San Jose, Wagers saw the extent of where the homeless may be living. Many examples that I've provided in the photos show the places where the homeless could be. News reports that I've viewed online and on television tells the facts on the large clusters of the homeless population centered near "the Jungle," which is defined as a man-made district located on the intersections of Story and Senter Roads, across from Happy Hallow Park & Zoo next to the Coyote Creek. That encampment has been since quarried off by San Jose Police. But shortly after the Jungle has been dismantled, another large encampment appeared at the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. 

As the housing continues to grow, there is very little space and time for Santa Clara County and the cities and towns within the county to come up with a plan to get all the homeless off the streets and into the homes, something that I believe is unhappy with Supervisor Cortese or Pastor Wagers. As I did look everywhere, the only possible way that could help put homeless into homes is to hire a landlord. But the main question remains a mystery to whether the landlord hired by the county or cities involved will dedicate his/her time to identify a place that will house many of the homeless. This is something that no landlords have ever done before. 

The biggest question remains to be seen in regards to the future of the housing for the homeless. Will Santa Clara County and their cities work on a plan? Who knows what is next... 

BONUS: The following pictures were taken not far from San Jose State University. The pictures contains images that shows homeless sleeping out on the streets of downtown San Jose.

 This blog is part of my three-part sequential blog. Click here for the next one.