SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Santa Clara County officials say more than 10,000 people are living on the streets in the county compared to 2019, which is a 3% increase.
“We have seen some success, we’ve housed almost 6900 people over the last few years, but we have tremendous challenges, in the number of people who are continuing to fall into homelessness,” Deputy Director, office of supportive housing Kathryn Kaminski said.
She believes people are falling into homelessness due to a lack of affordable housing.
“We have to build and develop, increase, the number of affordable housing units that are available to people in our community to meet the growing need,” Kaminski said.
However, affordable housing projects can take years, Supervisor Otto Lee says he’s focused on interim housing, which moves people from the streets to empty motel rooms.
“We have a program in Sunnyvale, moving 31 individuals from tent living into motel rooms, quite costly, but many of them able to find permanent housing thereafter,” Lee said.
Lee says, the motel transition program is a pilot program the county is exploring because it provides housing quickly. They can train people and get them the resources they need more easily to be successful.
“As a community we have a responsibility to make sure that people have a safe place to call home, whether they are working minimum wage jobs or working in our tech sector,” Kaminski said.