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Nonprofits scramble to help Santa Clara County homeless during coronavirus shutdown

Original post made on Mar 23, 2020

California's governor has ordered all residents to stay home. But for the growing homeless population in Santa Clara County, it's getting harder -- not easier -- to find a place to stay.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, March 23, 2020, 4:12 PM

Comments (8)

8 people like this
Posted by Billy Bob
a resident of Bailey Park
on Mar 23, 2020 at 6:25 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

2 people like this
Posted by Polomom
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 24, 2020 at 11:41 am

Web Link This should at least help with immediate expenses.

7 people like this
Posted by Kris
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 24, 2020 at 2:17 pm

I'd still like the Voice to post a stat that of the 606 homeless people of MV, how many became homeless immediately after having a home in MV.

6 people like this
Posted by longtime resident
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 24, 2020 at 3:59 pm

Now that Google has closed its buildings and employees are working from home, perhaps the company could allocate one building as a place to help homeless in need? People who have a van or an RV they can live in could park in the Google parking lot. Inside the building they have laundry rooms and restrooms, maybe a gym and locker room, right? Allow people to access this space to take showers, wash their clothes, and Google can afford to routinely clean the building throughout the day.

4 people like this
Posted by E.S.
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 24, 2020 at 4:19 pm

Since exercise facilities, like the YMCAs have large gym floor spaces as well as bathrooms, I wonder whether they might they be able to house homeless people and provide bathroom services to those living in vehicles.

2 people like this
Posted by Polomom
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 25, 2020 at 10:13 am

@E.S. I read that on Monday our YMCA became the childcare center for the healthcare professionals working at El Camino Hospital. So that option is already taken. Looking at the governors orders, communities are supposed to house homeless people in hotels. I have not heard anything along those lines in MV. But we are offering parking lots to our vehicle dwellers, where they are connected to CSA and other services.

3 people like this
Posted by Lenny Siegel
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 25, 2020 at 12:06 pm

In normal times, Mountain View residents are divided about what to do about the growing number of vehicle households on our streets. But these are not normal times. We are undergoing a public health emergency, yet vehicle residents and homeless now have less access to sanitation and other services than they do in normal times.
This lack of services not only poses a health risk to the “unstably housed” and homeless, it is a threat to the health of our entire community, as vehicle residents and homeless could join other segments of our population as vectors for COVID-19.

Mountain View city staff, non-profits, and Santa Clara County, are working hard to enhance those services, but more needs to be done, and quickly. Ideally this would be done in cooperation with neighboring cities, the private sector, and foundations such as the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The federal, state, county, and local emergency declarations should make the following actions more feasible than in normal times. The financial and human cost of prevention is much less than the cost of treating the sick.

For starters, I propose extending the hours (to 24/7), increasing the number of spaces, and enhancing the services at Mountain View new “Safe Parking” lots. A port-a-potty is not enough. I also suggest relaxing the requirements for admission.

Second, as in other cities, we should work with hotel owners to provide rooms for the homeless as well as those residents who have no other place to self-isolate.

Third, we should make closed-school facilities available for vehicle households. Schools have empty parking lots, plumbing, electricity, and custodians. Furthermore, schools are distributed throughout the community.
We have the resources to address this challenge. Do we have the will?

2 people like this
Posted by Polomom
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 25, 2020 at 1:18 pm

The City has acted 10 days ago, replacing closed park restrooms with portable facilities. According to the city website there is capacity at the city provided lots. The vehicle dwellers have to be willing, too. Supplying them with food in their current spots is not really helping social services. How are we ever re-integrating these residents into our current housing stock, if we do not ask them to join our MV social service network?
We should have a reduction in the actual RVs, since companies are closed and some of these workers hopefully went home to their real residences.
The only people who I have not seen addressed in any MV actions are the homeless people. But there are plans for shelters, lets hope these are put in place fast.
On Monday the City of San Jose was awarded $3.9 million, Santa Clara County won another $1.7 million and San Jose, city of Santa Clara and Santa Clara County group won $1.9 million. Our city leadership will hopefully be involved in spending some of the sums on our creek residents!

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