San Jose

San Jose Officials Break Ground on Interim Housing Site for Homeless People

Vowing to break the era of encampments, San Jose's mayor on Thursday officially kicked off construction of a new interim housing site for homeless people.

Mayor Matt Mahan led a group of city leaders in breaking ground on the Monterey/Branham emergency interim housing project on Branham Lane, an ambitious plan to build three-story modular apartment units equipped with 204 beds.

"I think that for much of the homeless population, this kind of opportunity is going to be appropriate," Mahan said. "It’s going to give them a leg up, an opportunity to achieve greater levels of self sufficiency, but it won’t solve the problem for everyone."

The project generated some hope across town in Columbus Park where the city has been shuffling homeless encampments around to make room for a new dog park.

"I’ve been holding on to that faith," Samuel Robinson said. "It’s hard at times. I'm under the weather. My health is deteriorating. I’m losing more and more. I guess we gotta move all that out of the way to get to a better picture."

The housing project came about after months of planning and meetings, but even as the construction starts, resident Steve Morales, who supports the project, said many neighbors still aren’t on board

"Angry, very angry," Morales said. "They’re scared that there’s going to be an increase in thefts, vandalism, break-ins."

The city has set up a monthly meeting of a citizens advisory group and has reached out to the local homeowners association to deal with concerns and complaints.

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