Homeless woes in affluent Mountain View | January 9, 2015 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - January 9, 2015

Homeless woes in affluent Mountain View

How Silicon Valley's homeless population struggles to make do without services

by Kevin Forestieri and Michelle Le

Early Monday morning, Tom staked out a spot behind a 7-Eleven in Mountain View, keeping a close eye on three bags stuffed with all of his belongings. Unable to find work or an affordable place to live in the area anymore, the longtime Mountain View resident says he's been homeless for a year and a half, and it's been tough getting by.

This story contains 1356 words.

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Email Kevin Forestieri at [email protected]


Posted by Martin
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 9, 2015 at 1:32 pm

The tiny studio apartment next to mine is going for $1200/mo. and one person looking at it said it was $400 less than anything else he could find.

I'm 55 and I suffer from chronic pain every day to where I can't sit or stand in one place for too long, but I don't dare lose my job here in Silicon Valley or I would soon be joining Tom on the streets after my savings ran out in a couple of months.

Years ago a person could find a piece of land outside of town and with help build a cabin to live in, but now there's no place to go if you can't pay exorbitant housing costs. I've seen an exhausted elderly homeless woman lying on the sidewalk being told by a police officer to get up and "keep moving".

Posted by Alex zuniga
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 9, 2015 at 2:21 pm

And to think, i was gonna go drop off food in san jose st james park. Now i can save gas!

Posted by resident
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jan 9, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Take a look at what other communities, such as San Luis Obispo, are doing about homelessness


Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jan 9, 2015 at 2:48 pm

It would be good to have someone actually get definitive data on what the real source of the problem is, in a census sort of way. On one hand I often hear people say "You can't blame them for not having a job, as many of them are mentally ill and cannot hold down a job, so they need services to be provided". But then in an article like this you read "It is a myth that many are mentally disabled or addicts", that instead it is an issue of cost of living. So which is it?

I know the answer is likely "Some of both" but I feel like people are mostly just guessing about the source of the problem around here rather than knowing how to approach it.

Posted by Martin Omander
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 9, 2015 at 3:00 pm

The last paragraph of the story is poignant. We can ignore the homelessness problem all we want, but it won't go away until we address it.

Posted by clyde
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 9, 2015 at 3:06 pm

There are more than enough homeless services and help for those, especially women with children, in this area. These "homeless," people consist almost entirely of single male adults and some women, some mentally ill and most with drug and alcohol problems, that when asked will like a broken record blame anything and everything for their condition. Denial is their mainstay and liberal community attitudes continually fall victim to this so called plight. A majority number of these people refuse help, want to live their free lifestyle to pollute our outdoors and are encouraged to do so by stupid people that continue to give cash to them as they pander our shopping areas. It was the fault of our weak-kneed local governments that allow that city of filth to accumulate by the San Jose waterway. We must, and I mean must, have tough love and perseverance to end this problem. San Francisco is such a mess concerning this because their policies encourage people to come and freeload. One, do not give a penny to anyone that is pandering and asking for money. Two, have all local governments patrol all our waterways and overpasses to immediate oust anyone taking residence in any public areas with an attitude of zero tolerance. No exceptions! All those that repeat their behavior will be arrested for unlawful pollution and loitering. That includes all those that pollute our walkways and businesses by their pandering. The "homeless," hate incarceration, and believe me if we can finally get tough on this the problems in our society initiated by these people will lessen and improve because these people will in a way be forced by their own stubbornness and denial to except help or leave. The current policy's as you have seen have gotten us nowhere.

Posted by Kathy Hall
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 9, 2015 at 3:38 pm

I have no idea how people who work in low paying jobs can survive around here. With that said there is a lot of money in Mountain View, it was very disappointing to see that as of Dec 30th only 98 donors made a donation to the MV Voice Holiday Fund for a total of $68,576. It should have been 10 times that amount. According to a 2007 estimate the median income for a household in Mountain View was $82,648, and the median income for a family was $105,079. Males had a median income of $64,585 versus $44,358 for females. The per capita income for the city was $39,693. If half the households in Mountain View donated $25 the total would be $375,000.

It's not too late... Web Link

Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jan 9, 2015 at 4:57 pm

Ah yes, the Monta Loma Loon is back here again.

Don't tell me -- you didn't actually READ the article you're (supposedly) commenting on, right?

And remember: Were you to suddenly lose whatever financial support you may have, YOU might be out on the streets. Think about that sometime.

Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jan 9, 2015 at 5:00 pm

And another thing: Stop spamming this thread with your garbage. ESPECIALLY if you're trying to pass yourself off as two different people.

Posted by Maher
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Jan 9, 2015 at 6:36 pm

This story breaks my heart. Everyday I am thankful for my home and my comforts. Some mornings I see "a camper" from the Stvs Crk camp at one or another of the fast food outlets. They are unkempt but they also strive to maintain a posture of dignity and self-respect. Tears come to my eyes. If I can find a good moment I slip a bit of money to them but I know that effort is such a sorry answer to their problems.

It takes a self-enlightened community to deal with a problem of this size. It is so odd that public compassion has fallen on hardened hearts in USA today. We're so prosperous and we are so selfish about these big problems. I am so puzzled by that dichotomy. Where did we loose our way?

Posted by Common Sense
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jan 9, 2015 at 7:48 pm

"The question we're still asking today is 'where do we go?'"

Answer: You go where you can get a job and afford to live.

Living in a specific area is not a right. It's a privilege for those who can afford the cost to do so. I wish I could live in a mansion in Los Altos Hills, but unfortunately I can't afford it. So I live in a modest house in Mountain View.

You're right. We don't want you to live in creeks, parks, businesses, driveways or cars on the streets. We want you to live in a city where you can afford to live in an apartment or a house. Just because you grew up somewhere doesn't mean you have the right to stay there at current owner or taxpayer's expense.

Maybe you have to move somewhere else for a while, save up some money and then return. Or maybe you will never be able to afford to live there.

Posted by Debbie
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 10, 2015 at 7:59 am

I work 2 jobs.... Neither is minimum wage. Salary barely covers rent. I had coffee and a cookie for meal yesterday during the 14 hour work day. I make too much money to qualify for aid.... Something is terribly wrong here

Posted by Diane
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 10, 2015 at 10:02 am

This is a good article about a growing problem that Mountain View residents observe everyday.

Can you do a follow up article or at least tell us how residents can help? IS there a fund to contribute to? How can MV companies be involved?

Thank you!

Posted by O
a resident of Castro City
on Jan 10, 2015 at 11:18 am

My crazy mom owns 5 units she inherited from my dad. Who knows what will happen to them. The greedy church possibly owns the trust. If she passes, her tenants would not be able to afford anything on the peninsula due to their skill sets. They can get an iPhone, find free Wifi and Google map for a creek and post, "I'm screwed."

Karel, KGO host stated several times, we the people do secretly wish that the homeless would just evaporate. Its horrible, sad, very shameful. Churches in my neighborhood have security guards. Church parking lots are empty. The community at large just doesn't care. Tax the churches and reroute the money to those in real need.

Posted by Kitty Jay
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 10, 2015 at 12:17 pm

To be honest, I believe that housing programs isn't really the cure to homelessness. The number of people living in the street that is mentioned in this article isn't even close to a reality. Many homeless from the area have decided to travel away from here. Also housing itself is a huge issue, not only for the homeless but for many residents as well. It keeps getting really expensive to live here and homeless are not the only ones suffering the consequences of high priced living. Did you know that in many apartment buildings, there is at least 1 apartment that is shared with up to 8 people? People would rather sleep on floors of living rooms or dining rooms instead of spending every little penny they earn on paying overwhelming rent rates. This problem is bigger than what's explained on the article and Mountain View doesn't even notice it. It's a shame that our politician's and council members don't know our city that well.

Posted by Choice
a resident of North Whisman
on Jan 10, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Why is there a blind spot to the plight of the millions of US citizens who are homeless and jobless, hungry, and struggling? We seem to be focused on helping everyone illegally in the US before we help any legal citizens.
If we did not give amnesty, and if we deported people illegally here, and reduced the millions who are legally allowed to immigrate to the US every year, then there would be more housing, jobs, health care, etc. and fewer homeless people.
People have to make a choice. Do we want to help our homeless, jobless, hungry, children, elderly, veterans, and citizens in need or do we want to be overrun by illegal immigrants using and thus denying resources and help for our veterans, elderly, homeless, etc?

Posted by Fred
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 12, 2015 at 9:00 am

MV creek trash 1/12/2015

No comments? No interest? No comprehension? Out of sight out of mind.
We do not show compassion for our homeless population by abandoning our creeks and trials to them. We do, by our long standing inaction, teach the homeless and our observant children that we condone the desecration of fragile common natural areas. We teach the creek dwellers that we will continually clean up their mess and stick the taxpayer with the bill. We teach the creek dwellers that after their mess has been laboriously cleaned up, they are welcome to return and continue accumulating another 700+ tons of garbage for next years cleanup.

This is a case of political correctness and human compassion gone quiet berserk. It is obscene to allow humans (14,000 of them?) to dump over 700 tons of, who knows what kind of garbage, into the waterways each year. And if we allow the accumulation of that much trash, how many tons of human excrement are also deposited in the creeks each year? Or do homeless people not defecate?
Most walk by and barely notice. Some volunteer each year to do the difficult and ultimately impossible job of removing creek dweller's trash. Those who have volunteered to clean up quickly learn that there is no way to pick up the millions of shards of decomposing plastics and broken glass. And after attempting to clean up the same "campsites" year after year one suspects even these volunteers sense futility.
The culprit in all of this is not the homeless. The cause is not the hodgepodge of agencies governing the creeks. And the responsibility cannot be placed entirely upon bureaucratic silliness. The reason our creeks are so abused is, in my opinion, the result of our ongoing divorce from our own understanding of nature.
We have made great progress from the day when the ideal was denuded paved over creeks and filled in wetlands. We apparently still have a long way to go.

Posted by Hmm
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 12, 2015 at 11:44 am

Hmm, Tom has the right idea, move to Reno where rents are cheap.

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jan 12, 2015 at 12:02 pm

Wow we had people who went off to war then come back home and to find they should have stayed to get skills to work for some hi tech start so they can afford the outrageous housing prices.

Some vet who has to work 2 jobs to live on the edge who mighy not be dealing with the pressures of being on the edge.

If we build more affordable reasonable rentals so vets can work, get trained in either college ot a trade might do them so good. Instead of going back to high school type jobs

Posted by BitterAngry Resident
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 25, 2015 at 12:32 am

The homeless around the 85 fwy and ElCamino Real in the creek bed need to be cleared out again. Most of the ones I run into around where I live are drug addicts asking for money and cigarettes, or truly insane. At night the zombies come out and hang out in tthe Walmart parking lot.

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