Homelessness

Homelessness

San Jose to transform park alongside homeless encampments

The city plans to transform the dilapidated flatlands at Columbus Park in North San Jose into a premier public park and plaza—complete with playgrounds, sports fields and rest areas. But the “elephant in the room” is the presence of more than 200 homeless residents. The land surrounding Columbus Park is a sanctuary for unhoused people—and a...

How did housing homeless San Jose students in Airbnbs go?

Two years after launching a landmark program to house homeless San Jose students in Airbnb rooms, nearly half the participants dropped out of the program and ended up in hotels. The program, officials say, took major blows from COVID-19 and other logistical problems. Sparky Harlan, CEO of the Bill Wilson Center that helped run the program,...

Homeless fentanyl deaths rising in Santa Clara County

Fentanyl continues to kill unhoused residents in Santa Clara County, and some unsuspecting users may be taking the drug in the form of counterfeit pills. Seven homeless individuals in San Jose suffered fatal overdoses from methamphetamine laced with fentanyl in the past month, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. Fentanyl, a synthetic...

Santa Clara County limits water handouts for homeless residents

Some activists claim the county is no longer providing them water to take to homeless encampments—a service offered over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gail Osmer, an advocate for houseless communities, said throughout the pandemic she’s gotten multiple cases of water from the county Office of Supportive Housing to distribute. But earlier this month, she says the...

In San Jose, homeless camp services vary by location

Dumpsters that allow homeless people to keep their camps clean make a world of a difference. But getting that and other utilities can be challenging depending on where an encampment is located. Last week, San José Spotlight reported on a South San Jose homeless encampment that lacks dumpsters, hand washing stations and port-a-potties, leaving unhoused residents without a...

Fake San Jose police notice highlights homeless camp tension

A fake police notice distributed at a homeless encampment in South San Jose has amped up tensions between unhoused individuals and nearby homeowners. Notices appeared late Saturday night and indicated the San Jose Police Department would conduct a clean-up in the area the following morning. The letters warned residents to take their things and leave....

San Jose tenants forced from condemned homes get some help

After being kicked out of their homes by San Jose, a group of tenants is receiving relocation payments from their former landlord, as well as temporary housing from the county. The owners of a cluster of un-permitted mobile homes near Spina Farms in South San Jose paid $30,000 to two households made homeless on July 15 after San...