(KRON) — Homelessness has been a nationwide issue for years. In San Jose, there are close to 7,000 people that are currently unhoused. A bill criminalizing homelessness would ultimately not only make them move, but also could cost them a misdemeanor.
Senate Bill 31 was introduced by Senator Brian Jones of San Diego and would ban people from sitting on a sidewalk within 1,000 feet of a sensitive area. Places like schools, daycares, parks and libraries. Those found within those 1,000 feet would not only be in violation and have to move, but would also get an infraction or a misdemeanor.
Currently, San Jose already prohibits people from camping in some within 150 feet from schools and doesn’t allow the blocking of sidewalks streets or trails.
What does San Jose mayor Matt Mahan say?
Well, the homeless camps do need to be cleared out. In fact, his recent budget proposes more safe parking sites, sanctioned encampments and “no encampment zones” in commercial areas like downtown. But he doesn’t agree in criminalizing those who are unhoused.
“We have to create safe, managed places for people to live and get on the path to self-sufficiency, ranging from shelters and affordable housing to treatment centers,”
Mahan said. “When those placements are available, I support abating, but not criminalizing encampments near schools and other sensitive areas.”
While the bill has not become law, it is raising some questions for the homeless in San Jose and what the mayor plans to do about it.
Currently, Mayor Mahan has a goal to provide temporary housing for about 1,000 people by the end of the year. But city staff say that’s a reach and probably won’t happen.
That bill was sent back to the committee and does not have a new schedule date.