With more than 5,000 people living on the streets in Santa Clara County, supervisors will soon consider spending more than $26 million on several controversial solutions.
One plan calls for turning an old hotel into transitional housing for the homeless. Another proposal involves converting a county-owned parking lot off Almaden Expressway into a safe zone for the homeless, where they’ll be able to stay in their cars and have access to showers and other facilities.
The county supervisors will also consider turning the defunct Plaza Hotel near the Greyhound bus station downtown into rooms where the homeless can live. But the owner of Taurinus Brazilian Steakhouse, 167 W. San Fernando St., said he has already had problems with homeless people camping out in his doorway and breaking heaters.
Rafael Oliveira fears bringing more homeless to the area would scare customers away. “It would affect our business for sure,” he said.
But Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese says the hotel location is “strong” and is already an unofficial shelter, “so if the government is running it, it can be a good facility.”
Cortese says the goal is to offer the homeless not only a roof over their heads but access to services so they can secure permanent homes.
The supervisors are set to take up the issue on Sept. 15.