New Mayor Sam Liccardo Says Addressing Homeless Crisis in San Jose a Priority

Addressing San Jose's homeless crisis is a top priority for Sam Liccardo, the city's new mayor.

Liccardo spent Thursday -- the first day on his new post as the city's top official -- visiting the city's largest cold-weather shelter and helping serve dinner.

"We know they need more resources, more money," Liccardo said of shelter operators. "They are doing everything they can with a lot of struggling folks during this cold snap. This is a priority of mine to address crisis we have with homelessness."

Shelter operators said they have a special permit to allow 100 more people inside during the current Bay Area cold snap -- which raised capacity from 250 to 350.

Liccardo said his administration will have to find some creative solutions to addressing San Jose's homeless problem. The new mayor hopes to launch a motel pilot program soon.

City funds would be used to convert under-used motel rooms to house homeless people.

Liccardo also said labor issues are also a priority for him. He spent some time Thursday on a ride-along with police to see first hand what it is like for the understaffed department. The mayor said he is reaching out to police and plans to do a lot of listening.

Liccardo said he will make a more formal statement about his plan next week when he is officially sworn in as San Jose mayor.

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