Making It in the Bay

Some Push Back Against Tiny Homes for Homeless People Site in San Jose

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California plans to build 1,200 small homes across the state to help house homeless people, but that has some people in San Jose pushing back.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday said the state is ready to deliver 200 tiny homes to San Jose as soon as the city can set up water and power services. The city wants to put 100 tiny homes on the property at the Cottle VTA station, but a coalition of people have been fighting the location.

"We are not against the homeless, but it's not fair to take this away from tens of thousands and give it to 100 people," San Jose resident Issac Kokohayo said.

San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan said it will help the city meet its goal of getting 1,000 people off the streets.

"The outcomes have been fantastic," he said. "We run four of these communities. The neighborhoods that they're in see the same or fewer calls for service for both 911 and 311, so public safety and blight. The neighborhood therefore is better off."

For some families, the tiny homes are the first step off the streets, into stable housing an on to a more permanent living situation.

In Santa Clara County, CityTeam runs programs along with the housing, and the permanency rate is about 70%.

"When you've just been in that cycle of shame and guilt and depression and all of these things feeling like a failure, it's hard to get that courage to kind of step into that and know that you're worthy of all those things, like a job and a good life, a car, all these things," House of Grace resident Jordan Silveira said. "I truly believe housing is a part of it, but I think it's so much more than that."

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