Storms & Homelessness Update with Irene Smith

Hello all,

Below is a letter from Regan Henninger and was sent out via Council-member Jimenez’s Newsletter.

The weather has enabled the city to provide shelter in the form of tents and organize folks off of the creek sides much like the Incremental Ladder of Housing Success.  It’s not a pilot but city officials are thinking more and more along the lines of finding immediate ways to provide shelter-stability with services; far faster than having only one tool in the tool kit — permanent supportive housing which can take years to build.  And sadly, it looks as if the evacuation centers will only last a few months past the storms and folks will return to the creek sides.

As a quick reminder here are the: 

Incremental Ladder of Housing Success Incremental Ladder of Housing Success

Incremental Ladder of Housing Success

And the laws impacting our ability to fully help those living on the streets The unhoused and the law



“Emergency Response update: Transition Facilities for unhoused residents evacuated during recent storms will keep vulnerable neighbors off the streets

On January 3, 2023, the City of San José issued a Proclamation of Local Emergency due to the atmospheric rivers that created conditions of extreme peril to the safety and health of San José residents. The most significant danger was for unhoused residents who were living within the banks of waterways. The City issued a mandatory evacuation for unhoused persons living in these areas.

The City announced it is standing up Evacuee Transition Facilities (ETF) at San José’s existing quick-build housing communities, as two temporary 24-hour emergency evacuation centers close on Monday, January 23rd since the immediate threat of severe storms has passed.

We want to continue helping the displaced individuals after the storm ends, so we are establishing evacuee relocation facilities that we will operate for a few months.These evacuation facilities will be within the perimeter fencing at the following interim housing communities:

  1. Rue Ferrari Emergency Interim Housing (up to 60 people)
  2. Mabury Bridge Housing (up to 22 people)
  3. Monterey/Bernal Emergency Interim Housing (up to 11 people)

Over the next few days, you may see workers preparing areas where displaced homeless individuals will be allowed to stay in tents. People will start moving into these evacuation facilities between January 21st and 23rd.They will have their own temporary restrooms, hygiene stations and security. Additional staff will be on-site to support these individuals and assist them as they move to other temporary or permanent housing. 

San José is also working to rapidly place evacuees, based on an evaluation of each person’s needs, into other locations operated by the City where there is availability, such as the Overnight Warming Locations (OWLs), quick-build housing communities, bridge housing, and through programs like the Rapid Rehousing, Motel Vouchers and even permanent supportive housing. 

The City is grateful for the continued partnership with the Red Cross and for operating the two current emergency evacuation sites at the Seven Trees Community Center and Camden Community Center. San José is also thankful for the incredible work done by the Emergency Operations Center team, Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department, San Jose Conservation Corps, and the Housing Department for creating this innovative step-up for residents who need this opportunity after the recent crisis. 

Destination: Home, a San José-based nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness, will provide support to assist with the purchase of Care Kits for unhoused residents currently residing in flood shelters who choose to move to the Emergency Transition Facilities. Supplies may include sleeping bags, blankets, winter hats, scarves, gloves, socks, hand warmers, and gift cards to purchase other necessities like food, hygiene items, medicines, and clothes.â€

Original by Irene Smith sent via email newsletter.