SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – San Jose’s new mayor Matt Mahan wants to end homelessness in the city — calling it a humanitarian crisis. At his inauguration Wednesday, Mahan declared it’s time to end San Jose’s era of unmanaged encampments.
Mahan repeated he wants to get back to basics and housing is one of them, but this comes on the heels of the city continuing to dismantle homeless encampments. People living at the Felipe encampment in San Jose’s Little Saigon neighborhood are on the move again. The city posted abatement signs, telling them to clear out by Feb. 3.
”They just swept people during a freeze. The coldest this week of the year and these people have no tents left. How are you helping?” said Shaunn Cartwright with the Unhoused Response Group.
Cartwright passed out blankets and hand warmers to encampment residents on Thursday. She says Mahan must listen to the unsheltered people if he wants to see encampments gone for good.
“Working with an entire camp together instead of taking one person out… that one person then goes back to the camp and Mr. Camaraderie… they missed their community,” Cartwright said.
The mayor’s plan calls for building more tiny homes that he says are an affordable housing solution.
“We know by using basic pre-built modular units placed on government land we can create safe homes for a fraction of cost,” Mahan said.
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But Cartwright says trying to solve homelessness in San Jose should be an effort that expands outside the city hall.
“If you are providing solutions that you think are best for them, that they don’t think is best for them, then you are not providing a solution,” Cartwright.
We reached out to the mayor and city council members to get more particulars on Mahan’s plan but have not heard back