Members of San Jose’s Willow Glen neighborhood met Wednesday to discuss the possibility of a homeless encampment moving in near their homes by the end of March.
Hope Village, an encampment that houses the homeless, needs to relocate and they’ve found a site that might work in Willow Glen. Though the homeless are happy, some neighbors say they’re just finding out and worry about what the site might bring to the neighborhood.
"They have land where they could put this up that’s not in the middle of a family atmosphere," said Willow Glen resident Kathleen Almoslino.
The current Hope Village is located on Ruff Drive and is home to 17 people. The secured area provides tents, access to bathrooms, showers and meals.
"I understand some people don’t want [the homeless] in a neighborhood, but we’re not all noisy, we’re not all bad," said Hope Village resident Kelly. "We have quiet time after 10 p.m., no one is allowed to be noisy here. So we’re much more structured than what you think of maybe people on the street."
Hope Village has to move by March 30 since it’s too close to the San Jose airport. The Federal Aviation Administration said it’s not zoned for residential use.
The new site would be just off Highway 87 at Willow and Lelong. Councilmember Dev Davis proposed the location near her home.
"I undertand that everybody wants safety, securty and sanatation for these residents, and thats what I want," Davis said. "I want to make sure that this project is successful."
However, some hope she and others change their mind.
"I think it will attract the homeless that don’t have good intentions, the homeless people that are on drugs, the people that are thieves and the people that mean to do harm," said Willow Glen resident Lori Marshall. "I think it will also tarnish the Hope Village by doing that."
The San Jose Housing Department will host a community meeting regarding the relocation of Hope Village next Wednesday at the Elks Lodge on 444 W Alma Ave.
The City Council will discuss the topic on March 26. They, along with the county and water district, would have to approve the move in the coming weeks.