Homeless Deaths in San Jose Continue to Increase: Advocates

WNBC 11PM AIRCHECK M-Sun - 23014307_WNBC_000000015333997 copy

The Community Homeless Alliance Ministry and Serve the People San Jose will be hosting a news conference Wednesday protesting what they say is the recent discovery of a record number of homeless deaths in the county -- 158 -- since Dec. 1, 2017.

The all-time high number increased over the previous record of 135 deaths that was set in the same timeframe between 2016-2017, according to Pastor Scott Wagers of CHAM. Wagers said the recent record is a significant increase over the 1999 count of 33 homeless deaths.

"I was shocked when I heard it," Wagers said. "I thought it might been have gone down."

Wagers points to what he considers a huge housing shortage coupled with high rents that have led to what he said is an out-of-control death rate.

"The rate at which they build housing isn't enough," he said.

The news conference will be held at 10:30 a.m. on one of the properties that Google recently purchased for its proposed downtown San Jose Google-plex, at 510 W. San Fernando St.

"If you want to do something, do something for the homeless," said Wagers of the recent sale of the land to the tech giant.

The number of homeless deaths have been steadily increasing over the years. From 2012 to 2016, Santa Clara county saw a 164 percent increase in the homeless population deaths, according to the county's study from last year.

The causes of deaths involve accidents, drugs or alcohol intoxication, homicides, exposure and suicides, the study found.

SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: The National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

NBC Bay Area's Kiki Intarasuwan contributed to this report.

Copyright BAYCN - Bay City News
Contact Us