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Santa Clara County Continuum of Care Releases New Roadmap for Ending Homelessness

2020-2025 Community Plan to End Homelessness builds on success of past five years and addresses the increased need caused by COVID-19 pandemic

On behalf of the Santa Clara County Continuum of Care, we are proud to announce the release of the 2020-2025 Community Plan to End Homelessness. The county-wide plan is our roadmap for ending homelessness in Santa Clara County, and it calls for bold strategies and partnerships to meet the scale of our crisis.

This plan builds on our collective efforts of the past five years, during which more than 14,000 people have been housed, and nearly 4,000 served through a new homelessness prevention system. Despite this progress, homelessness continues to grow, fueled by a number of systemic factors: the rising gap between the rich and the poor in our community, combined with the lack of affordable housing, particularly at the lowest income levels, and longstanding structural racial inequities. These challenges have been compounded by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, placing ever-more pressure on the nearly 10,000 individuals currently experiencing homelessness and the tens-of-thousands more at risk of falling into homelessness in the coming months and years.

The Road Ahead: 2020-2025 Community Plan to End Homelessness

The 2020-2025 Community Plan to End Homelessness is centered on three core strategies:

The 2020-2025 plan also sets aggressive targets designed to reverse the current growth in homelessness and bring us one step closer to our collective goal of eliminating homelessness in our community.

Read the full 2020-2025 Community Plan to End Homelessness
Read the Executive Summary

Progress To-Date & Next Steps

Several important steps toward implementing the new Community Plan are already underway as part of the community’s response to COVID-19. For example: 

  • Destination: Home and Sacred Heart Community Service have ramped up homelessness prevention assistance. Since the start of the pandemic, we have distributed more than $15 million in assistance to approximately 7,000 families in Santa Clara County through a partnership of 70 agencies, focusing on extremely low-income households.
  • The County of Santa Clara, City of San José and Continuum of Care Partners have connected more than 1,920 households into congregate and non-congregate shelter, distributing over 50,000 pieces of PPE, and providing mobile shower and sanitation services for individuals living in encampments. 
  • While providing these emergency services, these partners have also helped connect 865 homeless individuals to permanent housing. 
  • The City of San José is building three emergency interim housing communities to shelter unhoused individuals and families during the pandemic; those three communities will also continue to provide temporary housing for over 300 homeless residents after the pandemic.
  • Earlier this year, voters in San Jose approved Measure E, a real estate transfer tax increase that will generate millions of dollars annually to help fund new affordable housing development, homelessness prevention strategies and other critical needs.

The Continuum of Care will present the updated Community Plan to End Homelessness to local governmental bodies throughout the Fall, starting with the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and San José City Council on August 25, 2020. 

The Continuum of Care’s Lived Experience Advisory Board (LEAB) offered its endorsement of the plan at its July meeting:

“The Lived Experience Advisory Board is eager to be the first organization to officially endorse the 2020 – 2025 Community Plan to End Homelessness. Not only does it reflect our community-wide priority to develop housing for extremely low-income individuals and families, it contains everything we advocated for, including advancing racial equity, access to living-wage jobs, and increasing mental health and substance abuse services. We appreciate having a seat at the table, reflecting the growth of the community to include those with lived experience, whose voices have been traditionally silenced or excluded. We look forward to tracking the progress of the Plan’s stated goals, and being part of the solution wherever possible.”

Read the entire press release announcing the 2020-2025 Community Plan to End Homelessness

You can also visit Destination: Home’s Community Plan webpage

About the Santa Clara County Continuum of Care
The Santa Clara County Continuum of Care (CoC) is a broad group of stakeholders dedicated to ending and preventing homelessness in the county and who ensure a community-wide implementation of efforts as well as ensuring programmatic and systemic effectiveness. 

The Community Plan process was led by a Steering Committee comprised of the following members from the CoC:

  • Jennifer Loving, Destination: Home (co-chair)
  • Ky Le (co-chair) and Miguel Márquez, County of Santa Clara
  • Jacky Morales-Ferrand and Lee Wilcox, City of San José
  • Katherine Harasz, Santa Clara County Housing Authority
  • Louis Chicoine, Abode Services
  • Erin Connor, Cisco
  • Joel John Roberts, PATH
  • Jan Bernstein Chargin (lived experience member)
  • Claudine Sipili (lived experience member)