Less people are falling into homelessness, we have more temporary housing options that provide respite from the streets and stability to pursue permanent housing, and since January 2020, the Santa Clara County Supportive Housing System has connected 4,886 Santa Clara County residents with permanent housing.
While we still have a lot of work to do, it’s important to recognize that we’re on the right path to making homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring in our community.
Clear Signs of Progress
34 new housing developments are completed or underway in Santa Clara County thanks to the Measure A Housing Bond, spurring our efforts to house 20,000 residents by 2025. Leigh Avenue Senior Apartments is among those now open, providing a safe and stable home to 63 formerly homeless elders.
Other key accomplishments since the launch of the 2020-2025 Community Plan to End Homelessness include:
- Increasing our temporary housing and shelter capacity by 24%, from 1,882 to 2,336 beds;
- Providing more than $42 million in rental and financial assistance to close to 16,000 lowest-income households at-risk of homelessness; and
- Reducing the annual inflow of people entering homelessness by 29% from 4,778 in 2019 to 3,403 over the past 12 months, nearly reaching our 2025 goal.
“In one year we have made this much progress because we are working together as partners. Our broad coalition of public, private and nonprofit partners are helping people get off of the streets by increasing aid and the number of shelters. Our goal is to get people off the streets and into permanent housing with services. Every day we work toward that goal and we will get there.”Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez
Ending Homelessness in Santa Clara County
As we commemorate this important progress, we know there’s still much more work ahead. In order to truly end homelessness in Santa Clara County, we need to continue scaling these successful housing and prevention strategies and we must also face and address the root causes of our housing and homelessness crises.
That’s because our homelessness crisis is fueled by structural problems plaguing our society. A combination of decreasing wages, rising housing costs and an underfunded social safety net has resulted in increased rates of homelessness, disproportionately impacting people of color.
This is why our 2020-2025 Community Plan to End Homelessness includes several strategies to address the root causes of homelessness through system and policy change.
Confronting systemic forces entrenched for decades requires political will, community education, new and expanding partnerships, and equitable strategies centered in lived expertise. And it’s what we must do to actually end the perpetual crisis of homelessness.
As part of these efforts we recently announced a new funding opportunity designed to grow our partnerships with and invest in the capacity of small nonprofit organizations led by people of color and/or those with lived homelessness experience.
How You Can Help
You can get involved by joining the Housing Ready Communities Action Network, to support new housing developments and impactful policy changes that will help end homelessness.