Community Groups Protest San Jose’s Crackdown on Homeless Feedings in St. James Park

San Jose plans to end food giveaways for the homeless in St. James Park. The announcement earlier this week drew backlash from local activists and religious groups that hand out hundreds of meals a week at the downtown square.

A coalition of faith and community groups will distribute water and granola bars in protest at 1pm Friday, the same day Santa Clara County is expected to release numbers from the latest homeless census.

“It’s taking away our right to be of service to others and help their quality of life,” said Jamie Foberg, of In Their Shoes, a nonprofit dedicated to helping the homeless.

The crackdown comes amid public pressure to clean up St. James Park, said Sandy Perry, head of the Affordable Housing Network of Silicon Valley. Online posts on the Nextdoor community forum urge the city to “sweep the park,” “kick them out” and “take out the trash.”

Perry said that some of the comments call for enacting vagrancy laws or using Rudy Guiliani-style police tactics.

St. James Park has long attracted the city’s homeless population. Its downtown location puts it in proximity to social services, criminal and civil courts and public transit. City officials have urged activists to instead refer the homeless to established nonprofits—such as Loaves and Fishes or the Salvation Army—that provide food and other resources.

“Feeding our homeless must be done in a manner that is consistent and combined with the other wrap-around services that our homeless neighbors need to get back on their feet,” downtown Councilman Raul Peralez wrote in a letter to advocates earlier this week.

He cited health and safety concerns as one of the main reasons to stop the feedings. Later this summer, Peralez said, the San Jose Police Department will start enforcing a municipal code that prohibits distribution of un-permitted food in public parks.

“San Jose Municipal Code (SJMC) 13.33.090 prohibits the distribution of un-permitted food in park spaces,” he wrote. “This ordinance was not designed as a means to deter homeless individuals from parks but rather as a preventative health measure. Although I believe that having food is a human right and the need to provide our homeless neighbors sustenance is a must, I do not think that this is being achieved with the feedings at St. James Park. The feedings are well intentioned, but may not meet health regulations, lack consistency, and accountability if something were to occur to consumers.”

It should be noted, however, that a state law called the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act protects food donors from civil and criminal liability if the meal later causes harm to the recipient.

Perry said he suspects that the city’s recent deal to woo Google to downtown has something to do with the ban on homeless meal charity in the park.

“Advocates also suspect that the recent exclusive negotiating agreement with Google is encouraging the city to envision an upscale downtown where the working class, seniors, families with children, and people with disabilities will be banished and have no place,” he said. “The area’s housing and homeless service providers have nowhere near the capacity to serve such a large number of homeless, so the city appears to be embarking on a blame-the-victim approach to drive them out of town.”

Community groups plan to continue handing out food despite the threat of being ticketed.

“We have confidence that the vast majority of San Jose residents do not and will not support persecution of the homeless, and the churches and people of conscience who serve them,” Perry said. “We will not cooperate with any policies intended to rob the people of our city of their human rights and of their dignity as human beings.”

As SJPD’s plan to enforce the anti-feeding ordinance draws criticism, the agency is being praised for a new initiative that helps the homeless. This week, SJPD teamed up with homeless services nonprofit Abode Services to distribute care packages with socks and T-shirts to the unsheltered.

“While police are frequently called to enforce violations involving homeless persons, this is an opportunity for positive interaction and dialogue with law enforcement,” the department wrote on its Facebook page.

Jennifer Wadsworth is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Newspaper. Email tips to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

53 Comments

  1. Repeat after me Jennifer. The cops want no part of this. The 4 officers assigned to District Edward dont have the time or resources for this nonsense.

    • The Homeless are part of the public and have every right to use the park. Attempts to drive the homeless out of the park are akin to countries that remove their poor along parade routes etc so that the reality of the issues can be hidden. The homeless in St. James Park are a good reminder to us all that we have a sector of our society that we do not serve well. Everyone has to be somewhere. Feeding the homeless by citizens gives those individuals a chance to share their humanity. A good thing in this age of greed and selfishness.

      • The right to use a public park is NOT the issue at hand. Camping, occupancy after closing, possession of stolen property, littering, public urination, drug dealing, prostitution, and aggressive pan-handling are not protected rights.

        There are ample opportunities to “share in their humanity” without violating the municipal code. Virtually every homeless services group needs volunteers.

      • They show their greed and selfishness by feeding people in Saint James Park, not in their own community parks. They won’t have anything to do with homeless in Cupertino, Saratoga, Campbell, or Los Gatos.

    • I find it interesting the list of nonprofits that are making millions off the homeless aren’t part of these conversations. How about destination home, who is supposed to be the lead advocate on homeless issues, where are they on this issue. Do your Job nonprofits and stop creating more nonprofit jobs off the backs of the homeless. It’s shame that nonprofits have profiteered off the homeless and if someone would look into the millions of dollars we spent on this issue they would discover mere fraud. It’s shameful. That would make a great expose for San Jose inside to research all the money thrown at the problem with absolute shameful outcomes.

      • Chen, Excellent point. Destination Home functions as a cheerleader for existing non-profits rather than their effectiveness. We end up with non-profits like MidPen homeless housing that pay obscene compensation like CEO Matt Franklin’s $450,000 (in 2015).

  2. You are wrong Ms Perry. I totally support Raul Peralez and the city no longer allowing the feeding of the homeless in St James Park. If Churches want to feed the homeless they should do so on their own (non tax paying) property and let the public park go back to being a park.

    • I kind of agree with you Shelly. Where does it stop? I guess we will see the census at the end of the week, my guess is the numbers are up. The churches and other identities tend to go feed them where the homeless hang out. Hence St. James Park. What is upsetting is the homeless expect it and do nothing or very little to help themselves or the people helping them. Garbage everywhere and more. I don’t have the answer. I know the police where I live have done a great job (Almaden Valley) in keeping areas clean of tents, shopping carts and garbage to a minimum. I’m glad they do it, but the time devoted to that should and would be better used in being police.

  3. If you want to donate food, please use one of the many San Jose outreach programs:

    The City of San Jose Housing Department provides grants to these nonprofits to perform outreach, case management, and rapid re-housing to homeless persons,
    * Homefirst
    * PATH
    * The Bill Wilson Center
    * LifeMoves
    * The Downtown Streets Team
    * Family Supportive Housing
    * The Health Trust

    If you are homeless and seeking help, please contact the Homeless Helpline at 408-510-7600 or [email protected].

    The city publishes a Homeless Resource Guide: http://ca-sanjose.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/11171

    Rebuilding for Heroes Program
    http://www.sanjoseca.gov/index.aspx?nid=5268
    Veterans housing incentive program that provides funds to owners of market-rate apartments to make construction improvements to their properties in exchange for accepting formerly homeless veterans as tenants. Owners of single-family rental properties can also participate.

    San Jose Affordable Housing Programs:
    http://www.sanjoseca.gov/index.aspx?nid=5256

    Pet Care for the homeless:
    Vets for Healthy Pets
    https://www.facebook.com/VetsforHealthyPets/

    Free Mobile Laundromat, Hot Showers, Toilets for the Homeless
    http://www.dignityonwheels.org/

    Shelters:
    ALANO Club 
99 N. Almaden Blvd, San Jose, CA 95113 
(408) 998-9202

    Men/Women Asian Women’s Home 
240 Moorpark Ave. Ste. 300, San Jose, CA 95128 
(408) 975-2739

    Domestic Violence Beth-El Baptist Church Outreach 
San Jose, CA 
(408) 779-2300

    Families City Team Ministry Rescue Mission 
1174 Old Bayshore Hwy, San Jose, CA 95112 
(408) 283-2153

    Men / Women EHC LifeBuilders James Boccardo Reception Center (BRC) 
Nightly Shelter 
2011 Little Orchard Street, San Jose, CA 95125 
(408) 294-2100 x 402 (Intake Coordinator)

    EHC LifeBuilders Markham Terrace Permanent 
2112 Monterey Road, San Jose, CA 
(408) 294-2100 Ext. 229 (Application)

    EHC Lifebuilders Boccardo Family Living Center 
13545 Monterey Road, San Jose, CA 
(408) 686-1300

    InnVision: Cecil White Center 
358 N. Montgomery St., San Jose, CA 95110 
(408) 271-5160

    Men / Women InnVision: Georgia Travis Center 
297 Commercial St, San Jose, CA 95112 
(408) 453-3124

    Men / Women Markham Plaza 
2000 Monterey Rd., San Jose, CA 
(408) 278-7081

    Families Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence 
San Jose, CA 95112 
(408) 279-7550

    Sacred Heart Community Services 
803 S. 1st St., San Jose, CA 95110 
(408) 278-2160

    Men / Women Salvation Army 
405 N. 4th St., San Jose, CA 95112 
(408) 282-1175

    Men / Women San Jose Family Shelter 
1590 Las Plumas Ave., San Jose, CA 95133 
(408) 926-8885

    Families St. Joseph the Worker House for Women 
80 S. Market St., San Jose, CA 95113 
(408) 283-8118

    ALANO Club 
(408) 998-9202
99 N. Almaden Blvd. San Jose, CA 95113 
Men/Women

    Asian Women’s Home
(408) 975-2739
San Jose, CA 95128 
Domestic Violence

    Beth-El Baptist Church Outreach 
(408) 779-2300
810 Tennant Avenue San Jose, CA

    Casa de Clara 
(408) 297-8330
318 N. 6th St. San Jose, CA 95112 
Families

    City Team Ministry Rescue Mission 
(408) 283-2153
1174 Old Bayshore Hwy. San Jose, CA 95112 
Men / Women

    EHC LifeBuilders James Boccardo Reception Center (BRC) 
Nightly Shelter 95125
2011 Little Orchard Stree San Jose, CA 
(408) 294-2100 x 402 (Intake Coordinator)

    InnVision: Georgia Travis Center 
(408) 453-3124
297 Commercial St San Jose, CA 95112 
Men / Women

    Markham Plaza 
(408) 278-7081
2000 Monterey Rd. San Jose, CA 
Families

    Salvation Army 
(408) 282-1175
405 N. 4th St. San Jose, CA 95112 
Men / Women

    San Jose Family Shelter 
(408) 926-8885
1590 Las Plumas Ave. San Jose, CA 95133 
Families
www.sjfamilyshelter.org

    Reporting Homeless Encampments:

    Various local outreach programs assist the homeless and coordinate cleanup:
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]

    For concerns related to homelessness and encampments in our community, please call 408-975-1440 or email [email protected].

    Property along freeways and overpasses is owned by Caltrans. Please also make a report to them so they also are aware of the situation and can coordinate cleanup. http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/maint/msrsubmit/

    California Department of Transportation
1120 N Street
MS 49
Sacramento, CA 95814
    (916) 654-2852
    [email protected]

    Other resources for reporting encampments/homeless concerns:
    * Caltrans http://dot.ca.gov/
    * Santa Clara Valley Water District https://clients.comcate.com/newrequest.php?id=80
    * Park Concerns https://www.sanjoseca.gov/FormCenter/Parks-Recreation–Neighborhood-Services-11/Report-a-Park-Concern-60
    * Union Pacific http://www.up.com/aboutup/contact/
    * Santa Clara County Roads and Airport https://www.sccgov.org/sites/rda/info/Pages/service.aspx

    Our District City Council Members are also responsive to concerns about the homeless. Contact Info:
    http://www.sanjoseca.gov/index.aspx?NID=1187

    • All these resources, and not a tiny dent put into the homeless population. Brings to mind the definition of insanity.

    • Have you tried to navigate any of those online resources? Most are stale, offering incorrect information about services that are now defunct. If a sane engineer trying to help a homeless person can’t figure it out, how the hell are the mentally challenged homeless supposed to do so?

  4. > our most vulnerable residents.

    The “most vulnerable” residents in an area where tribalist foragers are free to roam are those who own or produce things that the foragers like to consume.

  5. I think GOOGLE should be coerced into feed and housing the homeless and crazy’s as a condition taking over the city and it’s government. I also think we should rehabitat wolves and grizzly bears into St James Park. I also think the entire city should be returned to the native American tribe’s that once inhabited the area.

    I had to get the tribe thing in for Mr Bubbles!

  6. Does this mean that SJPD will begin honoring citizen arrest requests of vagrants for possession of stolen property shopping carts, public intoxication, camping, etc. and of those enable them by via illegal feeding programs?

    St. James Park vagrants previously claimed that feeding programs are shuttered on weekends. A quick check on a few suggests this is still the situation. A ‘carrot & stick’ approach (providing daily meals & enforcing laws) seems like the best approach, but not clear that’s implemented.

  7. Yay for Councilman Peralez. Many homeless are only victims of their own poor life choices. Drugs, alcohol, doing poorly in school, rejecting help for mental health issues all contribute to their self imposed predicament. Hard working tax paying citizens are overburdened by having to pay for their poor choices. Why is it acceptable for our city and county to decide they won’t follow laws or policies? From illegal immigrant services and protections to thwarting these health codes WHY is that acceptable??? As citizens we can’t simply decide to not stop at stop signs or not pay taxes so why can public officials pick and choose which LAWS they will follow? The folks who do the charitable work can do it from their churches property or THEIR homes. Heck, then they can open up their bathrooms and showers to them. It isn’t charity if you force people to do it. Our city is being held hostage to so-called do gooders who only are willing to do it on someone else’s dime and property. Mr Perry’s “right” to be charitable isn’t being restricted at all, just do it out of your home or church or do you only feel good about your charity if you exploit the general public?

  8. “We have confidence that the vast majority of San Jose residents do not and will not support persecution of the homeless, and the churches and people of conscience who serve them,” Perry said.

    Sandy Perry is correct, the tolerance and compassion of the vast majority of San Jose residents is a given, provided the nuisance or need is not impacting the neighborhood where they live, where their children play, where they’ve invested their every financial resource to have a home in this very pricey city. The citywide support Mr. Perry counts on is of the feel-good-for-free variety, the kind drummed-up by news reporters (reaping salary), promoted by jackass politicians (reaping political capital), and peddled by con artists like himself (reaping personal satisfaction and a much-needed sense of purpose), who’ve administer incremental ruination here under the banner of compassion.

    Were Sandy Perry truly a person of conscience he would be unable to free from his conscience the plight of the good people who live, work, or have invested in property around St. James Park, not to mention the taxpayers of this city who pay for parks with the expectation they be pleasant and usable. But no, for these good people Mr. Perry has no concerns, only demands: that they endure the filth and depravity of unfixable people so that he and others like him can delude the “vast majority” and themselves into believing their harmful activities are doing good.

    How much good have these people of conscious done in the last few decades? There’s no question they’ve done good spending money and ruining neighborhoods and satisfying their own psychological needs. But the list ends there. There are far more bums, addicts, and lunatics (a population Councilman Peralez calls our “homeless neighbors’) living on our streets than there would be had this city kept its focus on law and order and stayed out of the compassion business. That said, if the city really wants to put a dent in the homeless problem but lacks the courage to lock up the bums, locking up do-gooders is the next best thing.

    • Mr. Finfan:

      What you have described is the “costless do-gooder model”.

      It has enormous but diffuse costs to society but little cost to the do-gooder.

      Overlay “democracy” on “costless do-gooderism” and you get progressive politics.

      Because there are enormous costs to society and the “benefits” are disproportionately accrued to a tiny claque of Democrat politicians, it is what environmentalists describe as an “unsustainable” model.

      The piper will be paid. See Detroit. See Argentina, Greece, Venezuela.

    • Providing services to the homeless saves this uninformed tax payer money. Locking up people is much more expensive that providing homeless services. This kind of approach out of anger is going to cost millions their health insurance by the hand of the person they supported.

      • Is the simple saving of tax dollars all you allow past your blinders, no matter that the approach you recommend ruins neighborhoods, invites additional homeless migration, enables substance abuse, and turns the decision-making for treatment for the mentally ill over to the patients themselves?

        Your idea of never-ending handouts to a population whose growth and level of need cannot be controlled is an idea whose costs are beyond credible estimation. Compare that to a policy of incarceration, where the costs can be determined (and the threat of incarceration discourages newcomers), treatment administered, and neighborhoods made safe.

        If compassion was the best solution to survival-related problems we would see it everywhere in the natural world, instead of only in decaying human societies.

        • FinFan, you hit the nail right on the head. How can we expect people to make decisions for themselves (voluntary), when they have made such poor decisions already? Too many of our “homeless neighbors” are mentally ill, and incapable about making an informed decision. Who are the lunatics here, them or us?

      • No study that I’ve read supports this general claim. Instead, the economic justification for rapid rehousing is focused on the EMS transport and care costs of the chronically homeless – about 16% of homeless population.
        But the study was seriously flawed and failed to include many secondary costs. For example, it neglected to include police and criminal justice system costs to address “homeless” in permanent supportive housing.

        ==>The most cost-effective model for chronically homeless continues to be a poor farm model as Elmwood once was. Mental illness, addiction, and anti-social behavior doesn’t magically stop just because Maslow’s basics are provided in conjunction with “counseling”.

        Proof point: complaints of Donner Lofts tenants. SJPD now send 3 cops on every call instead of the usual one at the rate of about 1 call for service every other day. 20 of the 109 apartments are reserved for homeless supportive housing and responsible for complaints.

  9. The DA office will not file on a shopping cart (ie possession stolen property) citation. What ever happened to those cart retrieval services with the pick up trucks?

    • If they took the bums’ stolen carts and returned them to the markets from which they were stolen, they’d be sued, represented by some legal aid lawyer; and be vilified by folks like Peralez and Jennifer.

      • What happened to the PW Super carts after they went belly up? They could have been given to transients in exchange for carts from Lucky/Safeway/whatever, instead of going to the scrapyard.

    • Reliable, They’re still around but instructed to retrieve only abandoned carts rather than risk an altercation. SJPD won’t respond to aid in the carts retrieval if possessed by a vagrant.

    • > Neither being hungry nor feeding the hungry should ever be a crime.

      True if you’re a baby bird.

      Mama bird comes along and puts a worm in your beak.

      Grown up birds, however, have to go out and find worms.

    • Dan B,

      Neither being hungry nor feeding the hungry is a crime.

      Being naked isn’t a crime either, but we don’t want to see it in church.

  10. Why not hand out food in front of City Hall, an eight minute walk from St. James Park? Then Mayor Liccardo and the City Council would have to ponder what to do with the homeless every damned day.

      • They want to give the impression that they care. This way they get some media coverage but they dont want a mess in their front yard (city hall). How long do you suppose it would take for Chief Garcia to get a phone call (via the bat phone) from Liccardo up in the Tower if several camps popped up next to the misters?

  11. People stopped feeding the bears in Yosemite, not after the bears killed and eat them, not after their cars were torn apart by bears, not after the bears were removed, not after the bears returned and were shot, but after people were fined prosecuted and or jailed for feeding the bears. The bears went back to being bears and not bums in the park.

    Is there a lesson to be learned in that?

      • Agree. Your comments are illustrative of the absence of critical thinking, analysis, and rational argumentation.

      • Hey Ram 1942-Beware, the bears are coming for you!

        I don’t believe in the communist ideology of giving; vagrants, social miscreants, drug addicts, grand-mother rapists, illegal aliens free rent in the Bay Area. I say round all of them up and dump them in Federal Emergency Agency Camps in Texas for triage, treatment and relocation.

        The real reason St. James Park (a.k.a. Vagrant and Criminal Element Park) is finally being cleaned-up is not to benefit the taxpayers who live around St. James Park and or others who wish to enjoy the park. It is solely to facilitate, promote and finance the Levitt Pavillion boondoggle hoisted upon this unfortunate historic neigborhood park by; then Councilmember Liccardo, Mayor Reed, the worthless Office of Economic Development and the special interest so-called non-profit San Jose Parks Foundation. Also, then Councilmember Liccardo also championed a variation of a Property-Based Improvement District (PBID) to pay for the aforementioned crap. This PBID is designed to place a tax on property parcels within a defined radius of the St. James Park.

        As to you Rams 1942, you are encouraged to read city council committee reports, attend their meetings and so you can dazzle the uninformed with your rehtorical manure and learn a little bit more than everybody who has espoused their opions up to my writing on this issue.

        David S. Wall

        • Your proposal is a replica of Soviet Communism. A typical totalitarian solution. Intolerance and lazy thinking advocating maximum violence as if it ever solved anything. When one believes himself to be the perfect human it is easy to propose such ideas.

          • Rams you have represented your fellow progressive snowflakes well here sir

        • > It is solely to facilitate, promote and finance the Levitt Pavillion boondoggle hoisted upon this unfortunate historic neigborhood park by; . . . .

          > Councilmember Liccardo also championed a variation of a Property-Based Improvement District (PBID) to pay for the aforementioned crap. This PBID is designed to place a tax on property parcels within a defined radius of the St. James Park.

          WHAT?!

          First I’ve heard of this, Mr. Wall.

          I’m grabbing my pitchfork and torch. Where do we meet up?

  12. Here’s what I propose, to solve the homelessness problem in the Bay Area:

    1) Re-open Agnews and lock up in it all the people who can’t take care of themselves. It’s going to be expensive, but it’s a hell of a lot more humane than leaving crazies to camp on the side of the freeway.

    2) Enact and enforce no vagrancy laws.

    3) That means all panhandlers and creek-campers go straight to Agnews or jail.

    4) Give our burgeoning out-of-state homeless population a free bus ticket back to whatever their home state was. Probably one not actively trying to increase their homeless population with zero policing, free food and cheap pot.

    5) The rest of us can go back to enjoying the public spaces that our taxes have been supporting, no longer surrounded by garbage and open sewers where there used to be parks and gardens.

    • Involuntary commitment to mental hospitals (beyond a temporary hold) was banned by the bipartisan Lanterman-Petris-Short act of the early 1970s. As a result, the mental hospitals (“Cuckoo’s Nests”) emptied out and were closed.
      So to make this “house the homeless in Agnews” idea work would take a two-step process:
      Repeal parts of the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (good luck with our Dem-controlled government)
      Send every homeless person to be evaluated as part of a 5150 hold.

      A third step: buy back Agnews from Oracle, who acquired it when they acquired Sun Micro.

    • > Here’s what I propose, to solve the homelessness problem in the Bay Area:

      I like it!

      I would also like to see some targeted tax to pay for Agnews that would specifically be borne by progressives. Maybe a tax on bicycles or pot or nose rings or tattoos.

  13. The only people in the park at feeding time are the Bums, thugs and drug dealers. With a line of the finest dressed mooches. Learn how to tell the difference between a homeless person and a bum or a mooch. Two blocks up the street is where the homeless are. Waiting for yoU to do some Real OUTREACH.

  14. “It’s taking away our right to be of service to others and help their quality of life,” What about the quality of life of the residents that live around Saint James Park? These groups give no thought to that. They only make sure the homeless don’t camp or be fed in THEIR neighborhoods!

  15. There is an extremely simple fix for San Jose’s homeless problem. Humanely Live-trap the homeless; put them on a bus; take them to San Francisco, hand them pamphlets detailing all the money and benefits San Francisco offers to the homeless then drop them off there. They’re happy; San Jose residents are happy; The “compassion community” of all the grotesquely overpaid “gentrifying” yuppies in San Francisco is happy. It’s a win-win

      • Yo, Rams1942…

        JSR made a harmless & amusing comment—and you responded with a drive-by, hit ‘n’ run post.

        Instead of snide put-downs, insults and insinuations, how about posting something worthwhile? Give us something to consider; post new information, or maybe a critique. Write something worth debating.

        I know, that takes effort. But I’m pretty sure you can do it.

        So c’mon, give us some o’ that liberal red meat that we can sink our Neanderthal fangs into. Otherwise, we’ll start to assume you’ve got nothin’…

    • Some other changes are more urgent:
      1. Require all homeless to be processed and tracked through the County’s Homeless Management Information System. London’s HMIS has been credited as being the single most important tool for virtually eliminating homelessness in a city of 8 million.
      2. Enact Laura’s Law in Santa Clara County as has LA, Orange, San Diego, SF, San Mateo, and Contra Costa among others. Laura’s Law allows counties to administer mental health treatment to those that are non-compliant. The data is quite clear on the benefits. Many of the officer-involved-shootings were avoidable had the mentally ill received treatment.

      Also much less expensive than maintaining the mentally ill in jails as is the current situation.

      Bottom line: like the water situation in Flint MI, the failure of elected and public officials are primarily responsible for the human suffering and quality of life impacts associated with homelessness in Santa Clara County.

      • Dear Mr. Taxpayer.

        Intriguing.

        The HMIS sounds potentially like a step in the right direction.

        The Big Heart nabobs want to treat the “homeless” like free range chickens, while following them everywhere with a caravan of “social services”, like mobile showers and mobile toilets and mobile social workers. Kind of like how NASA used to follow around astronauts before a space launch.

        HMIS is so “twenty-first century”. It replaces “brick and mortar” asylums with “virtual asylums”.

        I’m sure the H-1B workers in Silicon Valley could even come up with an iPhone app for instant mobile social services. Sort of like a combination of Uber and meals on wheels.

        The next challenge will be how to get the homeless to use the iPhone app rather than using it for tinder hookups paid for with food stamps.

        • SJOTB, HMIS holds promise, but the devil’s in the details. Last I checked, its usage was optional – not mandatory for public funded programs. As a result, there’s scant quantifiable data on what works (and doesn’t) for various homeless subgroups. As David Packard said, “What gets measured, gets done”.

          Consequently we’re left with just the bi-annual homeless survey data that shows homelessness increasing despite millions spent to reduce it. The real beneficiaries are the parasites that shriek at any accountability. Health Trust and HomeFirst (changed name from EHC) are high on the list. See comments at http://www.sanjoseinside.com/2016/02/19/san-joses-shelter-crisis-policy-for-homeless-makes-an-impact/

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