San Jose

Homeless Shelters Unable to Meet Growing Demand in San Jose

The City of San Jose will soon start addressing a slew of proposals to deal with its growing homeless population.

City officials and community agencies are scrambling each day to find housing for moms and pregnant women, adding they are unable to keep up with the demand.

"I'm not in this situation because I'm not working or anything else, it's just because there's not enough laws to protect renters," San Jose-resident Delina Garcia said. "And there's not enough affordable housing."

Garcia has a job and a car. She also has a 5-year-old daughter, Sarah, and can't find a place to rent. The two on Monday visited City Hall to meet with housing officials to try to get help.

Many non-profit organizations said there is a waiting list for families growing by about 10 per week.

"I've been calling the shelters trying to get in for about three weeks," Garcia said. She was told the shelters have "limited resources."

Shaunn Cartwright with the South Bay Tenants Union said Garcia's experience is something that is becoming common.

"It's fairly typical because we have a lot of women who are not finding places in shelters, whether it's because they're pregnant or because they have children," Cartwright said. "There are not enough shelter beds and not enough vouchers."

The homeless advocacy group "In Their Shoes" recently found a place for Garcia and her daughter to stay for a few days.

Council members are scheduled to address homeless issues, including shelters, on Tuesday.

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