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San Jose homeless outreach nonprofit continue to assist community amid COVID-19

KRON4 Heroes

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — A nonprofit organization focused on addressing street homelessness in downtown San Jose is continuing to offer its services amid the coronavirus pandemic.

PATH San Jose‘s street outreach team and staff are continuing to provide street outreach, interim housing facilities, case management services, recruiting landlords and providing support tasks for those who are homeless.

“When the pandemic began and started to spread into Santa Clara County as an outreach team we had to modify our services,” associate director PATH San Jose Serge Lilavois said.

“We had to modify our services in a way where we wanted to focus on three essential services which is health, food and shelter.”

With the coronavirus pandemic effecting everyday life, the states 150,000 plus unhoused residents are at higher risk to contracting the virus due to their housing, health and economic instability.

PATH San Jose and PATH Ventures have been deemed essential frontline services allowing the nonprofit to continue to operate and offer all of its services.

When shelter-in-place orders were issued in March the street outreach team modified its services to be able to ensure the safety of the individuals they are serving by maintaining social distance, handing out masks and offering COVID-19 literacy.

“When you look at the homeless population they’re the ones that’s most at risk for the virus,” Lilavois said.

“We knew that it was important to ramp up our efforts … we’re going to continue to go out there and provide the services and help people the best way that we can during this time.”

Five days a week a group of nine staff members from the street outreach team go out into the community of San Jose and offer assistance.

PATH San Jose will continue to operate its nine interim housing facilities with 1,100 beds, four supportive housing buildings, street outreach across four counties and assist in case management for nearly 4,000 people in affordable homes.

The nonprofit started in 2015 and serves as an integrated service and residential effort designed to address local homelessness and help local homeless individuals move into permanent housing.

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