San Jose Examines Placing Homeless Into Vacant Hotels

By Jean Elle
|  Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014  |  Updated 10:39 AM PDT
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San Jose city leaders plan to continue examining a plan to put homeless people in unused and vacant hotels and motels. Jean Elle reports.

San Jose city leaders plan to continue examining a plan to put homeless people in unused and vacant hotels and motels. Jean Elle reports.

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San Jose is one step closer to using unused and vacant hotels and motels as long-term housing for the city's large homeless population.

Council members voted Tuesday night to take a closer look at the plan that would help find a solution to helping get the more than 4,500 homeless people off the streets and into shelter.

"The idea is to bring in another party who can provide the case management and other services who can be sure we've got a path to success," Councilman Sam Liccardo said.

Liccardo is hoping to add kitchenettes to about 100 hotel rooms.

The plan calls for working with non-profit organizations to lease rooms and allow the homeless to stay in vacant motels and hotels.

Supporters of the plan previously said the number of affordable housing options are shrinking as the homeless population grows and shelters are often full.

But not everyone in the city is in favor of the plan.

A motel operator told NBC Bay Area on Tuesday she is worred about the homeless clients going away. Residents are also worried people will take advantage of the program.

"You're going to be relaxing, not looking for a place that's supposed to be temporary not long term," resident April Mack said.

The council directed staff to come up with answers to a long list of questions and would revisit the issue in 60 days.

NBC Bay Area's Chase Cain contributed to this report.

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