Housing prices continue to climb across the Bay area, pushing rental fees out of reach for many families. That's especially true for the over 6,500 individuals who are homeless in Santa Clara County this year, according to an annual county report.
"Rent is going up and up and up, and nobody can really afford it," says Jodi Ferguson, who was homeless for four years. "Once you do get into a place and you can afford it, they find a way to get people out."
Ferguson is a member of Downtown Streets Team, a non-profit that provides housing and employment resources to the homeless in exchange for community service and a small basic needs stipend.
DST team members clean parks and nurture community gardens, among other service projects, in the communities in which they are struggling to afford.
"I've been here all my life. I have my roots here," says Ferguson. "I don't know where else I would go and why would I want to be alone if I go someplace else."
DST team members work in San Jose, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, San Rafael and San Francisco. Employers, landlords and community members can help members find housing by visiting streetsteam.org.