Author: Ray Bramson (Ray Bramson)

Bramson: An open door for those who have served

My stepfather joined the Navy around the time of the Korean War. He enlisted the summer after graduating from high school, serving aboard a minesweeper as a radioman. After four years on the sea, he was honorably discharged and came back to sunny California. He went to Long Beach State on the GI Bill, earned...

Bramson: Home is where the health is

Recently, on a trip down to LA, I found myself in a cab talking to the driver about homelessness. This happens to me a lot, but in Los Angeles, home to nearly 60,000 unhoused residents, almost every person you meet has come into some sort of contact with the crisis. A personal experience, an opinion...

Bramson: The high price of growing up

The construction of new high-rise buildings has long been a key indicator of progress and promise for the modern city. Architectural marvels that rise to the heavens and offer to meet the rapidly growing demands of a prospering metropolis. With each new tower, the skyline forever changes, heralding the arrival of the density which is...

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...

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