If it seems to you that there are a lot of people living outside around here, you’re right! So why are there so many homeless people in San Jose? A recent HUD report found that San Jose/Santa Clara County has the highest rates of unsheltered homeless in the nation! Sadly, we won. We have greater rates of unsheltered homeless than any large city in the United States — including LA, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York.
I will start with trying to answer the following question, over the course of several posts:
Why do so many homeless people live outdoors in Santa Clara County?
How did we win that ignominious prize?
Many people think it’s because we have a lot of homeless people. That is true. We do have a lot of homeless people, but not more per capita than many other large cities. Indeed, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland all have more homeless residents per capita than we do.
The really striking thing about Santa Clara County is how few shelters we have. Very few people know this. I started to suspect we were on the left end of the bell curve after hearing multiple patients explain how they had tried to get into shelters but were unsuccessful because they were all full. I had also had interactions with the homeless in Seattle, Portland, and a small town in Oregon, and it seemed to me that there was a different emergency housing milieu that what patients were telling me about in San Jose. A clinic volunteer found great data from the federal government (HUD), and we were able to compare our county’s information with the country’s other large cities. The infographic (wait for it to load! It’s worth it!) on this blog shows the most interesting findings. I looked at homeless people and shelter beds per capita, since that makes it easier to compare with cities of different sizes. I was especially interested in homeless beds (shelters, transitional housing, and permanent housing) per homeless person, which for our county was the lowest rate compared with other large cities in America.
InnVision, Homefirst, the Salvation Army, Cityteam, and a handful of other small shelters house homeless people in various programs, each doing excellent and very difficult work. The Sunnyvale Armory, which used to take in homeless people at night during the winter months, was torn down this year.
This certainly is a major part of the reason our county has the highest rates of unsheltered homeless in the nation; very often there is literally nowhere for a homeless person to go except outdoors.
Very unfortunate. Since moving here I often wondered at why there are so many homeless sleeping outdoors in very public and central areas, in what is comparatively a small town. I used to live in LA and it was more understandable to have a large “skid row” given the large population size, but San Jose is a very small city in comparison. This is a good opportunity for us to see how as a society “individualism” is failing us as a whole. We cannot pretend we are separate and ignore those less fortunate. As we do, we hurt ourselves.
San Jose’s million people is “very small”? I hope by now that you looked up the population of cities in California. Would you have made the same “small town” remark about the even smaller, San Francisco? OK–granted EVERY town in America is “very small” by comparison except for New York and Chicago.
Yes, I have definitely noticed this in the past year the number has increased. But quite honestly I’m glad about the fact that the local government and the community are doing something to solve this problem. Plus with the help of organizations like these people will surely keep a closer look on this issue. will share this within my group and we will see what we can do to help. I believe that a community is just as good as the people living in it! Thanks Angela!
money is goven from fema and donors to curend homelessness however no money nor ownership nor self sufficientcy activitys sre provided instead programs real estate purchases that fo not peovide equity nor ownership gor the monetarily poor and homeless millions of dollars yet mone given into them directly and neednt cost do much to administrate ptovide for yhe intended purpose if the millions givennfrom fed peoples treasury
My experience is that the organizations designed to help this population are using most of the funds in unnecessary administration cost..the program that been put in place for the homeless are a mess with no real obtainable housing ..the programs are not addressing this issue .but are keep those employed in this businesses with no sucess to meet the needs of the community they serve.
In my case Santa Clara county is the reason why there’s homeless people in it there is a way there doing it they’re not telling HUD what’s going on but give me about you after I cut them with holding after they got caught they put me into a program and then they continue right where they left off with me having a piece of paper saying I’m going to get a house and that got kicked out of that program finally cuz you didn’t want to help me and I got pulled into another program where I just called down with all these housing help for me as well and I don’t know where to go this all started when I case manager was feeling myself security ask my case manager at Sunnyvale Community Services if you gave me the v i s p a d form and he started shaking I don’t know what it’s called it’s a way to get you on the county list and then from there they supposed to pluck you to turn on your vulnerability I was never put on he was held it for two and a half years and I have the day I met the man I could have been house he could have put me into Catholic Charities I said he was held help or two and a half years and with the new program came up the Navigator program work Rosalina Garcia runs it puts me on her list and she never offered me a place to go kick me off the program that as a result not take me to a new program called Outreach opportunity Solutions
The only reason why I’m homeless is because Santa Clara County withheld out for me kept me off a list where I qualified years ago has not housing after they’ve been caught July 22nd 2016 and I’m one of the lucky ones that caught them they are killing us they’re not even registering and not doing anything that can help us that I used to live at the Armory and they close to that was qualify for housing they never offer me anything and never even told me I qualify for anything as a result in nothing but a bunch of criminals who run this Sunnyvale Community Services opportunity Solutions Opportunity Center Housing Authority
Decades ago a whole bunch of SROs (Single Room Occupancy) in San Jose were torn down to make room for high rise office buildings etc. The residents were promised alternative housing, but as I understood it, nothing was arranged before they were all evicted. My question: Was replacement housing ever provided these citizens or did they end up on the streets? Related: I’ve read that over the past…50 years or so there’s been a loss of most of this kind of economical, basic housing. Any data on San Jose in that regard?