SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — San Jose leaders and homeless advocates broke ground on a new temporary housing project at a San Jose Police Department parking lot.

Last October the city voted to approve the prefabricated housing project near the Guadalupe River Park in an effort to address the city’s homeless crisis.

“It is not a secret to anyone that we suffer from a shameful scourge of homelessness in this Valley, it is a source of shame for all of us because we are a Valley of great wealth and yet we have an intense need among us,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo Wednesday.

“In the spirit of Silicon Valley, our path forward will be some combination of innovation and inspiration.”

The 76-unit project will be located in a parking lot at the San Jose Police Department headquarters near West Taylor Street and will include 16 prefabricated structures.

The site is the city’s fourth quick-build apartment community that will be used for interim housing and will offer a wide range of services, including a shared kitchen, laundry rooms, a community room, bathrooms, outdoor common areas, space for pets, security offices, fencing, and a smoking area.

“I’m proud that we were able to work with neighbors and community partners to help make this project a reality in order to disrupt the cycle of homelessness and provide safety, stability, and dignity for our unhoused neighbors, ” said Councilmember Raul Peralez (D3).

“I look forward to continuing to identify creative and sustainable solutions to our ongoing housing crisis.”

City officials said the site will only take six months to construct at 1/4 of the costs of traditional apartments.

The Lot E quick-build apartment community is being developed by Bay Area-based firm Devcon Construction, Inc.

The city is funding construction through federal American Rescue Plan funds, City of San Jose Housing Department funds, and Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention (HHAP) funds from the state.

Community partners also chipped in — Destination: Home contributed a $1 million grant, All Home provided $500,000, and Housing Trust Silicon Valley provided $25,000. 

The prefabricated units will be donated by the SHP Foundation — saving the city millions in development costs.

“We as a Christian group follow God’s command to be compassionate and caring,” said SHP Foundation founders Peter and Susanna Pau.

“Homelessness is not just other people’s problem. It is now the Bay Area’s biggest problem, there are solutions but we all need to contribute. SHP Foundation is partnering with the City of San José to do something about it. We hope other cities and groups will join in.”  

The community will also host a transitional employment program similar to the San José Bridge program that will employ residents to maintain and steward the Guadalupe River Park.

A new transitional employment program similar to the existing San José Bridge program will be piloted, which will allow residents to live in the new transitional community while working with local employment-based non-profits to improve their job skills while they rebuild their resumes.