SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – Santa Clara County officials have opened a new temporary shelter for people experiencing homelessness.
On Monday, people are moving into the shelter in Willow Glen Neighborhood in San Jose for the first time.
This building used to be a senior housing complex but it’s been vacant for years.
Now that’s changed and people have moved inside.
The county has placed some people experiencing homelessness in this building temporarily.
“I feel like it’s definitely a good step forward in trying to help these people find permanent housing,” Jose Contrera said.
That is Santa Clara County official’s goal to move the people that are living at 1185 Pedro Street to permanent housing.
Officials say everyone who moves in already has a voucher for long term housing.
Santa Clara Deputy County Executive Ky Le told KRON4 in April they are trying to set people up for success.
“Full complement of property management staff. It’s going to be staffed 24 hours a day and we’re going to have a robust complement of supportive services,” Le said.
There will be councilors and case managers.
Five people have moved in, eventually the building will house about 80 people.
Jose Contrera works at Ganado Feed down the street.
He says he’s seen people experiencing homelessness in the Willow Glen Neighborhood.
“There are a few people in the immediate area around here. Up this street, by the creeks, under the bridges in this area,” Contrera said.
Contrera feels a shelter like this will make a difference.
“I think it’s really good because the homeless people here in San Jose haven’t been really prioritized by the city,” Contrera said.
San Jose District 6 Councilmember Dev Davis said not all neighbors are happy.
“The process has not included the community as much as it should have and that’s been a concern for the neighbors as you’d imagine,” Davis said.
Councilor Davis’ office says they are continuing to have meetings with the community about this shelter.
Use of this facility is just getting started — County leaders say they have a 20-year lease with an option to renew, so they plan to use this for a long time.