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Santa Clara residents coordinate to stop interim housing for homeless – San José Spotlight

A coordinated effort by hundreds of Santa Clara residents successfully killed a proposal to build interim housing for unhoused families.
In a unanimous vote, the Santa Clara City Council rejected a proposal to build 60 units of transitional housing at 2035 White Oak Lane. Councilmembers directed city employees to search for alternative sites.
The proposal drew a record amount of correspondence and scores of residents who spoke out, according to Mayor Lisa Gillmor. She acknowledged the topic was difficult to address, and resulted in bitter and heated comments
“I’m sorry that people portray others as not caring about the homeless,” she said. “I do believe people care about people, I honestly do believe that.”
Councilmembers expressed support for the unhoused, but cited the strong opposition to the proposal for not approving the project. Vice Mayor Raj Chahal was not present for the vote.
Numerous residents who spoke are associated with Safe Santa Clara County, a group that has fought against similar proposals for interim housing projects in Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and Mountain View. All of these projects are associated with Project Homekey, a state program to build rapid housing for unhoused people.
Santa Clara County and San Jose are moving forward on several proposals to increase the region’s stock of emergency housing. The county recently approved a multi-million dollar contract with LifeMoves to create 10 prefabricated shelter sites. San Jose built more than 300 interim homes at three different sites during the pandemic, and San Jose wants to use Project HomeKey funds to convert several hotels into housing.
Members of the group and White Oak residents—many of whom used talking points distributed in a Discord channel—claim the project site is too close to the Lawrence Expressway and poses a danger to the children of homeless families. Others doubt LifeMoves, the organization selected to manage the housing project, can find long-term financing for the project.
Some say the site is too close to another Project HomeKey building, the Bella Vista Inn on El Camino Real. Santa Clara County, which is applying for state funds to run this site, approved it earlier this month.
Speakers repeatedly cited a petition signed by more than 2,000 residents who oppose building interim homes.
Think of the children
Dozens of residents said they fear for their safety if unhoused residents are allowed to live in the neighborhood. Many characterize the homeless as drug addicts, alcoholics, mentally unsound and violent and suggest placing them in the neighborhood poses a serious threat to their families.
“I want to ask the supporters one simple question: You want to save 60 kids through this housing—how about the 600 kids in the neighborhood you’re putting at risk?” said Megha Sarathy, a Sunnyvale resident.
A woman who only identified herself as Nimish claimed the project would destroy the neighborhood and suggested the decision makers would not consider raising their children near a homeless shelter.
“Go to neighborhoods that have had homeless shelters for several years,” she said. “Are they still the neighborhoods they used to be years back? Are the property prices still the same?”
Several residents referred to rapes, assaults and a murder at an interim housing project in Milpitas. Santa Clara County Supportive Housing Director Consuelo Hernandez said there was a domestic violence incident at the Milpitas HomeKey location. She noted that gender-based violence occurs all over the county, not just in interim housing.
Proponents of the White Oak project expressed shock and anger with the language used by residents opposed to the site.
“It’s been deeply disturbing tonight to hear the incredible amount of fear mongering, of just inaccurate information and really dehumanizing comments about our unhoused neighbors,” said Jordan Grimes, member of a local grassroots housing advocacy group.
Santa Clara resident Allen Liou said he supports the project and finds it shameful how opponents portray the unhoused.
“You guys are really characterizing them as monsters when these are just people in need of help,” he said.
Online planning
In a Discord channel, a group of residents dismissed the project supporters as communists, lobbyists and non-residents. Several users emphasized the project should be treated as an election issue to force councilmembers to take it more seriously.
“I want them to fear. Their next election. Their legal expenses. And public shaming,” said one user.
Several expressed disgust with Councilmember Suds Jain, who unsuccessfully tried to preserve the White Oaks site as an option while the city searches for other possible housing sites. He is the only councilmember the Safe Santa Clara County group did not urge its members to thank after the meeting. One user suggested the victory in Santa Clara can be exported to other cities.
“This success can be (a) template to help other communities under threat of mindless projects,” they said. “This should be replicated elsewhere.”
As of Wednesday, members on the Discord channel are discussing various ideas for how to develop the White Oak site.
Contact Eli Wolfe at [email protected] or @EliWolfe4 on Twitter.
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Sigh. Every town and neighborhood has the lobby power to stop these, except downtown San Jose. We continue to be the dumping ground.
Yep all of San Jose is the dumping ground. The county doesn’t bother with any other city. It’s ridiculous.
We need Public Officials with a Backbone like LA Sheriff Alex Villanueva – who do not put up with the Homeless Industrial Complex and Bureaucratic Bull—-…
“You don’t have a right to negatively impact the community and claim public space as your own”
“LA Sheriff Slams ‘Homeless Industrial Complex’ Grifters Who Profit Off Crisis –
‘They’re raking in money, not by the millions, not by the hundreds of millions, by the billions…’ ”
The ‘Non-Profit’ 501 C-3 organizations – tasked with providing comprehensive health care services to low-income residents categorized as homeless,
have TOP Level Employees with a total payroll of over $2.8 million earnings –
ALL Compensated by Public Taxpayers and Private Companies…
LA spends close to $1 BILLION annually on homeless services, while homelessness has only gotten worse.
Homeless encampments, trash, and RVs still line the sidewalks around the project and neighbors are still afraid for their safety.
These ‘camps’ are inundated with Tents, Trash, Needles, Drugs, and local business owners’ shops continue to be Vandalized.
“You cannot build your way out of homelessness,”
Sheriff Villanueva said.
“It was the LA Homeless Authority themselves that said for every 100 that we house,
they’re replaced by 120 more on the street –
that math seems to elude these people … our elected officials.”
Villanueva says his office is going to START ENFORCING the LAW,
citing California Code 26.600.
It states the sheriff… “shall preserve peace, and to accomplish this object may sponsor, supervise, or participate in any project of crime prevention, rehabilitation of persons previously convicted of crime, or the suppression of delinquency.”
“You don’t have a right to negatively impact the community and claim public space as your own,”
(The Center Square)
no surprise
Kevin I totally agree and my Council member Raul Peralez continues advocating for homeless sites in his district and especially in my neighborhood Spartan Keyes. In my neighborhood we will have 1,200 units of affordable and supportive housing and perhaps more coming because he has not left office yet. I recently learned he approved 240 units of 100 percent affordable housing there at S. First and Virginia with only 89 parking spaces. He lied to us because he advised it would be market rate housing at two zoom meetings . In addition, for two years myself and others have pleaded with him, council, police and the homeless unit to get rid of a homeless encampment at 146 Martha Street and nada. Raul is also pushing for retail marijuana shops in downtown San Jose . What can we say. San Jose is a dumping ground for everything because of council members like Raul Peralez .
How to get rid nof homeless….. Put them in homes….how exactly does this “encampment” affect your life
Unanimous vote telling the unhoused that they are not welcome in Santa Clara. Every City should have affordable housing. The hatemongering and other scare tactics used to kill these projects are deplorable.
Unanimous Vote against Homeless Advocates Gaslighting and in Support of Resident Taxpayer Safety & Security in the Community.
If we want to truly solve homelessness, we must first understand it – with clear eyes – and support Police Enforcement of the Drug, Mental Health, Blight and Vandalism Problems these Vagrants are inflicting on Communities.
—————-Seattle is Dying – Top Documentary Films ————–
“While activists & political leaders insist that it’s primarily a housing problem, the REALITY IS that we have a Massive ADDICTION EPIDEMIC that is driving the crisis.
According to law enforcement and (Seattle) King County prosecutors, at least
50% of the homeless are addicted to heroin, fentanyl, and synthetic opioids, and
80% of the unsheltered homeless have other substance-abuse disorders.”
“If you listen to the Navigation Teams, people who spend every day out in the illegal encampments, out in the city, dealing with the people,” he continued. “They estimate that 80% of the people who are unsheltered – sleeping in tents, RVs, cars – 80% have substance abuse disorders.
And that virtually every encampment they clean up had discarded hypodermic needles for heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamines.”
MyNorthwest (June 2019)
KOMO News Documentary – “Seattle is Dying”
No suprise AND .Kevins post say it all ….. santa clara remains clean, so does, cupertino, los gatos, saratoga .sunnyvale . they want to stay that way drive through ………….san jose lost control in a sad state right now.. …. bad enough with a depleted hands tied PD and crime all time high cant even clean up the city…. 126 million covid releif money? given to sammy and the city Gov? wonder where thats going,,
To not be a dumping ground – you must first be honest. If you do not want to welcome the homeless – then say it. If you can’t afford more poor people to live in San Jose – than say it. If you want to virtue signal and put signs out in front of your house saying what a great and worthy person you are compared to a Trumpist – then the poorest areas under that regime of that dishonesty will bear the burden, because the wealthy ones won’t allow it.
if California was honest, if the elites of the Bay Area were honest, they would say:
“This is an elite state for elites only. Unless you have three sigma value to offer, your prospects are a life of highly-regulated manual labor and ever increasing rent. As it is only for elites, we will not take the time to educate your kids, as we believe it is not possible, because the reason the elite’s kids do better is because of their parents. We do not want to build you a house, maintain the roads you drive on, or invest in your kids; we will over tax your gas and fast food (we call it regressive taxation) because we know you will not save any money anyway. Thus we do not understand why you stay here other than, of course, to clean our house and mow our lawn. Do not sell you Central American house and business to pay a Coyote to sneak you across the border and put your kids at risk, because if you move here you will never own anything and you will not like it. If you decide to be homeless, we will create clubs of like-minded (we call them NGOs) and highly educated classmates (we call them cohorts) to prop up a façade of action (we call them tiny houses) and pay them half a million dollars a year to forego corporate stock options to never permanently solve the problem in a way that would fundamentally impact the character of our neighborhoods or our glorious way of life. Long story short, just go away. You have been warned.”
When you tolerate the liberal hypocrisy inherent in the CA Democrat “Party Values” and the endless lies they propagate, you give Atherton, Palo Alto and Cupertino cover to deposit all the social problems in your neighborhoods.
This is what you vote for, this is what you get.
Santa Clarans would more likely find pedophiles, rapists, drug addicts, and murderers in their own neighborhoods and even their homes. . .or known by the victim. The difference is that they have families able to house them and pretend otherwise.
All murders committed in Santa Clara the past 7 years were committed by people related to or friends of the victim.
I challenge someone with access to records to publish other crime statistics (excluding food theft) in Santa Clara and whether or not it was committed by an unhoused person.
I challenge those who oppose housing the homeless in Santa Clara to use equal energy to propose a workable plan to house everyone with dignity…not just swept under the rug.
All peraleze cares about is votes!!!! His career not your neighborhoods! They’ve lSome are being lost.. But you won’t find this housing even near his or any city leader neighborhoods .. They continue to sugar coat the homeless San Jose has lost control lots of problems while other cities now fight back ..
We have so many homeless people, because employers are not willing to pay fair wages in almost all places of work, there is always a “cut wages culture in corporations” while the price of homes and goods in general start skyrocketing, you expect us to pay more and more and more for new services and things, while our wages stagnate and people bicker on whether or not we should be paid more for years on end. Then we get hit with a pandemic and now we’re still a arguing over the same things, over and over again, wondering why there is so many homeless people, wondering why we have so many problems.
Fair wages????? What is a fair wage? For God sakes, for 6 years, we have raised the min wage and they still cannot afford to live here. Why? No one is building housing for them. Blame the Democrats in charge. I do not like the Republicans, but the Democrats are just as pathetic.
I’m tired of hearing just raise wages, that’s not a solution.
“We like to help the homeless! As long as it’s not in our neighborhood.” says these hypocrites.
Where is the Return on Investment for the Billions already spend by CA on the Rising Vagrancy problem?
—————-Why CA Keeps Making Homelessness Worse————-
According to …experts, CA has made homelessness worse by:
1. making perfect housing the enemy of good housing,
2. by Liberalizing DRUG LAWS, and
3. by Opposing Mandatory Treatment for Mental Illness & Drug Addiction.
Other states have done a better job despite Spending Less Money.
CA’s leading homelessness advocates (GRIFTERS wasting Taxpayer$$$$s) wrongly insist that the current crisis is due mostly to a housing shortage.
Homelessness Experts Disagree:
“I’ve rarely seen a NORMAL Able-Bodied, Able-minded Non-Drug using homeless person who’s just down on their luck,”
L.A. street Doctor Susan Partovi said.
“Of the thousands of people I’ve worked with over 16 years, it’s like 1 or 2 people a year.
And they are the Easiest to Deal With.”
Rev. Bales agrees: “One hundred percent (100%) of the people on the streets are MENTALLY Impacted, ON DRUGS, or Both”
Most of the time what people mean by the homelessness problem is really a DRUG Problem and a Mental Illness Problem.
“The ACLU will come after me if I say the Mentally ill need to be taken OFF The Street,”
said Dr. Partovi.
“…things worsened 10 years ago when L.A. and other CA cities rejected drug recovery (treatment) as a condition of housing.”
————Why CA Keeps Making Homelessness Worse ——————
It is indeed truly sad that this project was quashed. However advocates for Supportive Housing need to remember their opponents have access to statistics. Those statistics are incredibly incriminating.
Call for sevice rates are available at anyone’s fingertips. If a supportive housing project is having 300 plus calls a year how can it be considered stable? Second Street studios has had to 50o calls for service. Emergency services were on site up to 5/6 times day every day 7 days a week!!
If the staff who run supportive housing sites are never there to provide case management no one will be stable. Most of us hsve jobs where we have to account for our time. Both PATH abd Abode have proved over avd over again that they mismanage their case management services. . They have extremely high staff turn over. They do not have staff on site and they rarely if ever meet with their clients
While I think it is incredibly sad that this development was shuttered the fault lies entirely with the City of San Jose Suoervisors and the County Suoervisors. They are fully aware that these organizations are wholly ineffective but they keep funding them anyway with new multi million contracts several times per year regardless. . They make up ridiculous terms for what they consider to be #stably housed ‘# and gloss over the extraordinary problems many of the long term unhoused have. At no supportive housing program is there any form of a substance abuse programs. No specialized programs for domestic violence no programs for mental health. The omissions are glaring Vd truly ominous. Let’s not forget at Village apartments across the street from City Hall a resident was murdered because of absolutely criminal negligence in regards and any forn of oversight on site. The Mayor’s office ran out abd cleaned up the glass on the street for one supportive housing tenant there. Where they when an elderly man was being drowned in his bathtub after being stabbed by a criminal. Attending yet another zoom meeting?
At Second Street studios they opened a mentak health facility on site where none of the 153 residents can go for services. None of the!!
Meanwhile it is coming up to the holidays and Abode will be absent for at minimum for three weeks over the entire holiday period at Second Street studios in fact it is probably closer to a month.
So will all the other agencies that deal with the homeless Downtown Street teams take extended old vacation over the holiday period. Don’t their clients who have housing have any services during that time? Nope.
Do any other service organizations take extended paid leave on contract over a holiday oeriod: no way
San Jose City Councillors and the Department of Housing and the Office for Supportive Housing are wholly accountable for issues with supportive housing in San Jose. They do not want to address them in any way shape or form.
. Therefore who can blame any neighborhood grouo for opposing any development. No one can.
Sounds like residents in district 10 need to reach out to Safe Santa Clara County, to organize and coordinate to defeat the city council proposal from the D10 councilman to ram through homeless housing at the corner of Monterey and Branham that comes right up to a neighborhood of houses and is near a library, an elementary school, and a park.
I’m looking for a contact person, number regarding Safe Santa Clara County, a group who successfully killed a proposal to build interim housing at 2035 White Oak Ln. Santa Clara. Our neighbors have the same issue at Branham Ln. and Monterey Rd. San Jose 95136, across the street from San Jose’s Edenvale Library, Hayes Elem. school, Davis Middle school, San Jose City Park at Hayes Mansion.
We need help to coordinate an effort to kill this proposal to build 200 interim housing doors.
Liberal hypocrisy at it’s finest.
Here in district 2 we need to reach out to Safe Santa Clara County because councilmember Sergio Jimenez and the SCC Housing Authority are coordinating to move forward with a homekey project at the Residence Inn which is only 0.5 miles away from a tiny homes site. And we have two tiny homes locations half a mile apart from each other so this project will be the third and it is going to consolidate a cluster of homeless housing in South district 2 and all happening just within 1 mile. Also in South D2 they want to use Santa Teresa VTA station as an RV parking lot not too far from the Residence Inn. This is so unfair to local residents and the community is not being taken into consideration, they are moving forward as fast as they can ignoring us. They do not care about the quality of life of local residents, safety or local property values. However, there is strong local opposition to both projects, see these two petitions signed by thousands (but petitions won’t be enough, we need help from Safe Santa Clara County)
They don’t care about anything but parking. Developments such as this one have been successful elsewhere and make good neighbors. Hopefully, legislation to reverse NIMBY decisions that deny housing is in the works.
Stably housed is successful is the byword of the Housjng Fiesf advocates
However even some of the shelter providers are admitting that a great deal of the unhoused need a term of transitional housing
In San Francisco there are levels of Supportive Housing. Some people require more intensive services
Certainly Abode and PATH and Destination Home are gonna tell you they are a success
But remember their form of success involves the City paying them bonuses for services they do not deliver
Who would not call that a success: Donot deliver, never meet with your clients. Get paid anyway
The non profit’,s success is the neighborhood nightmare
I have been a victim of identity theft and mail fraud. The perpetrator’s address for my illegally diverted mail is the Bella Vista Inn in Santa Clara, CA. One of the “guests”. is a scammer, and dark web thief and identity theft perpetrator. They have no right to free housing. I am a Democrat and always vote the party line and want to help women and children. I draw the line at free housing for criminals… This week many men were arrested and this inn constantly draws the attention of the police which is slated to become a homeless shelter. Women and children first ok. but not those lazy ass, criminal men.
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