San Jose may spend $2 million to find jobs and homes for 100 people now living in the city’s sizeable homeless encampments. The City Council on Tuesday will consider a one-year, $650,000 contract with the San Jose Streets Team, an organization that finds work and housing for homeless people who can and want to work. The rest of the money will pay for security deposits, rental subsidies and move-in costs.
The housing program will target the transitionally homeless—as opposed to the chronically homeless, who receive help from another city-subsidized program.
“Case management services to this subpopulation should be less intensive than for the chronically homeless, and should be needed only as long as is necessary for the individuals to achieve stability after being housed and employed,” Leslye Corsiglia, director of Housing, writes in a memo.
The streets team employs what they call a “work-first” model in which homeless clients take on a job—janitorial work, for example—in exchange for food and housing vouchers. The goal is to have 75 percent of people housed within six months of intake. Once housed, the client will continue to touch base with a case manager to make sure they stay on track to becoming economically independent.
Last year’s homeless census estimated that 4,700 people in San Jose sleep in the streets on a given night—an 18-percent increase from the 2011 count—and that more than 12,000 experience homelessness in a given year. Twenty-six percent of people polled said they live in encampments, where 96 percent of respondents said they would want permanent housing if it were available. Sixty-five percent said their inability to afford rent kept them on the streets.
More from the San Jose City Council agenda for February 11, 2014:
• San Jose has seen an unexpected spike in construction, which brought in $11.4 million developer fees for the city. That added revenue will pay for service demands in the planning and public works departments, according to the mid-year budget review. The mid-year report also says overall funding has stabilized this year after a decade with net general fund shortfalls of $700 million, though service levels aren’t yet where they should be.
• The city will have to sell 31 properties at a loss as part of the 2011 state-ordered dissolution of the Redevelopment Agency. Some of the properties were bought for $1 million or more and are on the market now for $250,000 or less. Several of the lots for sale are parking lots. Others include the Mexican Heritage Center Plaza retail center, Camera 12 Cinemas, the San Jose Stage Theater and an old fire station.
WHAT: City Council meets
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260