Author: Ray Bramson (Ray Bramson)

Bramson: A troubling boom on the streets

My great grandmother was born in New York City in 1902, lived there all her life, and died in 2006. After raising two children and then losing her husband at a relatively young age, she worked as a bookkeeper until she was 88 years old, helping her kids get through college and start their own...

Bramson: Voucher discrimination is just another closed door

If you’ve ever found yourself in a housing hunt, you’ve probably noticed online or paper ads stating in the fine print (or upfront nowadays): No Section 8. Not accepting Section 8 vouchers at this time. Not a Section 8 building. Those same listings might as well read “very poor people need not apply.” While to...

Bramson: What really counts when it comes to homelessness?

Back in 2005, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development decided that communities across the country needed to start regularly counting the number of people on the streets and in shelters. The government argued that a standardized process to enumerate and survey those without a permanent home would help us all measure the severity...

Bramson: The price of admission

Saturday night in downtown San Jose. My family is going to watch The Public, a new film by Emilio Estevez. It tells the tale of a group of homeless patrons who convince a few city staff members to help them take over a public library to use as an emergency shelter for a night to...

Bramson: Ending homelessness isn’t an overnight fix

A crisis demands immediate action, but lasting change takes time. In some ways, this sentiment has managed to become the main battleground in the question of how to address the issue of modern homelessness in our communities. With roughly 114,000 people homeless in California – and about 70 percent of that population unsheltered – the...

Bramson: Evans Lane homeless housing is a model for others

On a Tuesday evening in January, San Jose City Council sat in chambers considering a rezoning application and planned development permit for a piece of property on Evans Lane. The site, a city-owned parcel purchased for the purpose of affordable housing over a decade ago, had sat vacant for years, with the grass growing high...

Bramson: Where do we go from here?

When I was a boy, my mom took me to a homeless shelter to serve a meal during the holidays. The first time we went I was probably 10 and I remember being pretty scared when we arrived. Everyone was nice, there were decorations and lights up, even some Christmas music playing. But I could...

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