A prayer held Wednesday for homeless people who died from hypothermia also turned into a call for action to prevent anyone else from freezing to death. George Kiriyama reports.
Friends gathered Wednesday night in San Jose to remember and pray for homeless people who died last week due to hypothermia.
City leaders also joined the vigil, which also turned into a call for action to prevent anyone else from freezing to death.
Jesus Morales was one of the people who attended Wednesday's gathering. He has lived in a homeless encampment off of Senter Road and Keyes Street for many years. More than 150 homeless people live in the community of tents, shopping carts and underground bunkers.
"It's cold out here. I've been out here," Morales said. "Every night I feel it."
Among the topics discussed during the gathering were warming centers, better affordable housing, job training and employment opportunities.
"I believe in the Silicon Valley spirit. I really do," said Scott Wagers, a homeless advocate. "But there's a lot of people that are angry because people shouldn't die in such a place.
Hot soup, warm clothes and jackets were passed out. City officials who came out promised even more shelter for the homeless.
"It's going to take all of us to show the love and humanity and compassion to resolve this really difficult issue," Councilman Ash Kalra said.
Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen was also in attendance.
"We're doing everything we can on the city side to make sure that this kind of thing doesn't happen again," Nguyen said.