San José Announces It Will Open Transition Facilities for Unhoused Residents Evacuated During Recent Storms

The City of San José is setting up “Evacuee Transition Facilities” at existing quick-build housing communities, including Rue Ferrari, Monterey/Bernal and Mabury, as temporary 24-hour emergency evacuation centers beginning Monday.

Heavy rain and flooding along creeks and the Guadalupe River the past three weeks forced the evacuation of people from several homeless encampments. Now that the immediate threat of severe storms has passed, city officials see an opportunity to provide evacuees with social services and transition some of them to interim housing.

The new temporary evacuation centers opening next week can accommodate up to 132 tents on wood pallets, the city said in a press release. Bathroom facilities and handwashing stations are also available onsite.

“The storms of the last couple weeks have created an opportunity for us to accelerate our effort to bring our homeless neighbors indoors, into a caring environment with onsite services and pathways to self-sufficiency,” said San José Mayor Matt Mahan. “I want to thank the many city workers and nonprofit partners who have come together to turn a one-time evacuation order into a more lasting and positive impact for our community.”

The city is also working to rapidly place evacuees, based on an evaluation of each person’s needs, into other locations operated by the city where there is availability, such as the Overnight Warming Locations, quick-build housing communities, bridge housing, and programs like the Rapid Rehousing, Motel Vouchers and even permanent supportive housing.

“I am proud that San José was one of the first California cities to issue a Proclamation of Local Emergency and Evacuation Order for the recent atmospheric rivers,” said City Manager Jennifer Maguire. “The order enabled us to save lives and focus on our most vulnerable communities, including the unhoused residents living within waterways throughout the City.”

“The emergency evacuation centers provided a safe, dry place to protect evacuees for the duration of the storms,” Maguire said in a statement. “I am incredibly thankful for the tireless work done by many city employees. From clearing storm drains to knocking on doors, operating warming centers, and making announcements along our creeks, we worked as one team to keep our city safe.”

The city partnered with the Red Cross to operate two current emergency evacuation sites at the Seven Trees Community Center and Camden Community Center. The city’s Emergency Operations Center team, Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department, San Jose Conservation Corps and Housing Department  worked together to create the new emergency evacuation centers.

Recently, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation announced the launch of the SVCF Emergency and Disaster Relief Fund, a long-term, regional fund that will provide grants to nonprofits and government entities assisting those most impacted during times of crisis or disasters – including San José residents affected by the recent storms. To respond to community needs following the recent storms and flooding, the community foundation will use monies raised into the emergency fund to support a range of nonprofits and government entities providing direct relief, including Destination: Home.

Destination: Home, a San José-based nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness, will use funds from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to buy care kits for unhoused residents currently residing in flood shelters who choose to move to the Emergency Transition Facilities. Supplies may include sleeping bags, blankets, winter hats, scarves, gloves, socks, hand warmers, and gift cards to purchase other necessities like food, hygiene items, medicines, and clothes.



  1. Is the City Manager proud of the fact that San Jose let the creeks, parks, sidewalks, storefronts and many other open spaces become large encampments? The fact the City is trying to celebrate their failures (the reason these emergency sites are needed in the first place and homelessness is so bad) is just a remarkable delusion, and a testament to the lack of clarity on how bad this issue is. FEMA is needed 5 years ago – not 175 tents for thousands of homeless people.

    Build shelters at a scale to meet the need. Create no camping ordinances. Enforce laws. Stop giving massive entitlements (enablement culture). Raise the bar.

  2. True, but so out of touch with the reality of things. Homelessness is not a “problem” that can be fixed by creating new camping ordinances, all that will do is have the local authorities busy cleaning and clearing encampments and also police services are expensive creating new housing is the most reasonable solution proposal by far. Homelessness can happen to any of us, most could be a paycheck away from joining ranks with these “problematic people”, with the economy and other factors many who now look down and criticize those in need could and are facing the specter of homelessness. I didn’t choose to become homeless, different circumstances brought me here, not drugs as most assume, but a job that burned me and caused me to be late for bills and rent. I have no way to be able to move in into permanent housing, and the transitional housing there is, like shelters etc; most if not all are structured depending on the ethnic majority that gets to dictate policy. No staff could stop or tried to stop it from happening. I know this because I was one of those idiots who thought, and acted at times by necessity, like those fools did. But I don’t want you to think that I believe for a second your opinion is wrong, you have the right to be very angry. Most of my fellow homeless folks are dirty, some not by choice, and some tend to stockpile useless trinquets (useless maybe to you and me, but inside their minds some value beyond understanding has been placed on these) that block sidewalks and alter the order of things. I agree with you that most create garbage and steal the things you live unnatended in your yard, those who do get caught about 90% the time because they have nowhere to hide themselves or their loot. On behalf of those who are homeless, but still conscious of the impact we are and the troubles we caused you or anyone in our time we send our most sincere apologies. I have to run maybe you’ll understand that in our world life is not easy, try living without the basic necessities like electric power on demand, running water and most importantly a roof over your head. I trade my so called “freedom” for your life any moment; no questions asked.

  3. So many housed (privileged) people seem to think they have a solution to a problem they can’t possibly understand. There is no single solution to a multifaceted problem add to that a naïveté to the experience of living unhoused, especially without a choice. If you are constantly trying to survive every day it puts a strain on your sanity. If you weren’t previously abusing anything you most likely will. If your things keep getting stolen and no one cares it is easy to steal and not care. How you treat people is how they treat you. The people on the streets aren’t typical of all unhoused. Judge not and you shall not be judged. I wish I had more space to comment.

  4. You’re right, Aguirre, the one size fits all “solutions” that dominate will rarely work. Just counting the homeless every year or two is useless unless you dig down and find what specific issue or issues brought each person to the state they are in. But the time and expense necessary to do that are too great. The vast majority of those folks on the streets are unemployable. Find those who are, and start with them. There is no viable solution for the chronically mentally ill as long as 5150 remains the law. “Curing” chronic drug addiction requires that the individuals really want to get clean and remain so. Concentrate on them. As for the uncooperative, cut them loose; you’re just wasting your time and taxpayer money. Hold the homeless industrial complex grifters accountable, and cut them off at the knees if they don’t show results; then try something new, because what they are advocating hasn’t worked for decades despite billions of taxpayer dollars spent.

  5. I am homeless not by choice. I had a house in Lathrop for nine years. The city red tagged my house because I didn’t have electricity. My parents who bought me the house thru my stuff out and sold it 9n me. I do what I have to survive everyday. I would love a roof over my head instead of a tent. I have been on a waiting list for 6yrs. please help me.

  6. Your parents bought you a house , when, Martindale? When did they throw you out?
    Why did they throw you out? Didn’t pay the rent, alcohol, drugs, no job, all of the above?

  7. Addressing the houselessness crisis–at bottom, a social crisis stemming from radically lopsided distributions of income and wealth–requires serious fiscal firepower. Let Mahan and company study the examples of other West Coast cities and, in particular, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle, for better ways to mobilize resources to address this crisis. That way they might avoid the many failures of Liccardo–Mahan’s most important groomer and enabler–and Cindy Chavez, the architect of Measure A (2016) and Mahan’s opponent for the mayorship.

    Cut to the chase: tax the wealthy (like the Zuckerbergs, Koums, Woodmans and Allens, the main donors to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation) to create publicly-provided and affordable housing to scale (;;

  8. Thank you, Robert Aquirre, not everyone who is homeless, entered into sad status because they abused drugs or alcohol. Being homeless (being defenseless and looked down upon by society) is enough to drive anyone to escape by using drugs or booze. I think very understandable, tho absolutely tragic. The numbers of homeless individuals in our community is a condemnation of our society – it is just too easy to lose a job despite being a good worker — just ask those recently laid off high tech engineers and others who managed to get an education and then a job at a well regarded large hi tech companies which are now laying off workers. Many other people became homeless after their landlord, looking for more return on investment, raised the rent beyond the income level of their tenants, thus forcing those tenants out on the streets.

  9. Probably a good place to start is not laugh at the fact you don’t even know how much rent you haven’t paid.

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