San Jose Homeless Man Apparently Freezes to Death

Homeless advocates pushing for "legal encampments" where homeless "can feel safe."

This week’s cold snap has claimed one life in the South Bay. A homeless man died in San Jose this week from apparent exposure to the cold.

Homeless advocates are using the death to push for a fast, long-term solution to homelessness. It was one year ago that the city moved in and closed "the Jungle." A rally was held at the site on Friday, with advocates saying something has to be done before another person dies on the streets.

Many of the people who spend their nights sleeping in San Jose’s St. James Park were just hearing the news on Friday morning that a homeless man died on Tuesday night. Sources tell NBC Bay Area he froze to death beneath the overpass at 1st and Market streets downtown.

Homeless advocate Shaunn Cartwright said she’s spoken with the Santa Clara County Homeless Task Force, but "they’re not acting near as fast as it seems they could."

One idea gaining traction with the task force is establishing what’s called a legal encampment in the county.

"A legal encampment is where they will have maybe a shower or porta-potty or water," said homeless advocate Gail Osmer. "They can feel safe and not die on the streets."

No one at St. James Park knew the name of the person who froze to death on Tuesday, but they all said they hope it doesn’t happen again.

San Jose City Councilman Don Rocha said he's "devastated" by the death.

"It hits you a little different when you’re elected official," Rocha said. "You feel some responsibility that there might have been something you can do."

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