Making It in the Bay

Interim Housing for Unhoused Set Up in San Jose Police Headquarters Parking Lot

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San Jose city and nonprofit leaders unveiled a new interim housing site located in the police headquarters parking lot. 

Juan Bonales, 33, has been homeless for some time after he said he hit rock bottom. 

But on Wednesday, he got a preview of his new home, and path forward. 

“It’s a shattered dream that’s coming true,” he said. “I thought I wasn’t going to be able to come out of the situation I was in.”

Bonales is one of 96 people who will now have a place to live, as the city of San Jose unveiled its latest interim housing site. 

Each unit has a desk, air conditioning, a bed, and its own bathroom. There’s also laundry and a kitchen on site. 

“This is exactly what we need,” said Bonales. “Just a place to rest and a place to be able to clean up.”

The community is known as a quick build. The buildings and units are pre-fabricated so it took just a year and a half to complete this project. 

It’s something San Jose is focusing on moving forward to curb the homelessness crisis. 

“These units take 1.5 years to build on average versus the nearly 5 years it's taking to build more traditional affordable housing and we're able to deliver them in about one-seventh the cost per door,” said Mayor Matt Mahan.

Half the units here will be for members of San Jose Bridge and the Goodwill Strive Program. 

It employs the unhoused to clean up and beautify the city. 

“This is going to just explode with impact. Impact not only for the residents that we’re serving but for the community at large,” said Trish Dorsey, the vice president of Mission Services, Goodwill of Silicon Valley.

San Jose now has 700 units like this either operating or under construction and another 300 are on the way. 

All the projects have been built on public land so far. This one is in the parking lot next to police headquarters. 

For Bonales, it’s a second chance. 

“Having this place is going to give me and a lot of us an opportunity to get back into society and start working,” he said.

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