There is no reason families should be sleeping outside. Every child deserves a chance at a happy, healthy life – and that starts with a place to call home.
On October 4, 2021, Destination: Home joined a coalition of public, private and nonprofit partners in launching HEADING HOME, a community-wide effort to end family homelessness in Santa Clara County by 2025 and a cornerstone of the countywide 2020-2025 Community Plan to End Homelessness.
One year later, our community is seeing significant progress thanks to the tireless efforts of the County of Santa Clara, City of San Jose, Santa Clara Housing Authority, and many Continuum of Care service provider partners:
Thanks to the collaboration between public, private and nonprofit partners, HEADING HOME has made significant progress within the first year since the campaign’s launch:
All eligible families on the community queue have been enrolled in a housing program and are housed or searching for housing.
The County of Santa Clara Office of Supportive Housing and Santa Clara County Housing Authority have assisted helped 478 families with children find permanent housing, and an additional 375 families are searching for housing with the help of a federal housing voucher.
Destination: Home, Sacred Heart Community Service and 19 participating nonprofit organizations continued expanding the countywide Homelessness Prevention System – providing 1,176 families over the past year with financial assistance, case management and other services to help ensure stable housing and reduce their risk of homelessness.
Local government entities and more than a dozen nonprofits are building 471 affordable and supportive housing units across eight different developments for families that will open between now and 2024.
The City of San Jose’s emergency interim housing site at Evans Lane, the County’s family motel program, and cold weather shelters increased temporary shelter capacity for families by 140 units, increasing the availability of safe places for families to stay at in the interim as they look for permanent housing.
We are especially grateful to several organizations within our Supportive Housing System working to provide direct access and resources to housing and prevention assistance for families in need, including but not limited to Amigos de Guadalupe, Abode Services, Bill Wilson Center, Carry the Vision, Family Supportive Housing, HomeFirst, St. Joseph’s Family Center and the YWCA Golden Gate Silicon Valley.
Although we are seeing progress toward achieving our goal, we continue to see an enormous need for homelessness prevention and other proven strategies to keep families off the streets as pandemic renter protections have expired.
We must remain committed to ensuring all families in our community obtain housing and stay stably housed. In the years ahead, HEADING HOME will:
- Continue enrolling eligible families into the Federal Emergency Housing Voucher program before the December 31, 2022, deadline
- Continue expanding the Homelessness Prevention System and working with system partners to have families at risk of homelessness quickly evaluated and given the resources they need to remain housed
- Continue refining the assessment process so families obtain housing assistance as quickly as possible
- Increase support from property owners and landlords to make more housing available for families experiencing homelessness (if you are a landlord, click here to rent to a homeless or at-risk family participating in this campaign and you can receive several landlord incentives)
Ending family homelessness is only possible when every member of our community works together to ensure every homeless or at-risk family is connected to our system of care.
If you, or someone you know, is currently experiencing homelessness: Contact the Countywide Shelter Hotline at (408) 385-2400 to be connected with available shelter options and information on how to be assessed for housing assistance
If you, or someone you know, is at-risk of becoming homeless: Contact the Homelessness Prevention System at (408) 926-8885 to learn about financial assistance and other resources for families at-risk of losing their housing
Recruit Landlords to Rent to a Family
The severe lack of available housing units in our region affects families of all income levels, but our lowest-income renters – especially those with housing vouchers – are hit the hardest by the region’s low vacancy rates.
We need the support of landlords to keep families with children from sleeping on the streets. You can help address family homelessness in our community by recruiting landlords and property owners to participate in the HEADING HOME campaign.
Property owners who rent to a family participating in this campaign can qualify for several landlord incentives and benefits:
- Guaranteed rental income, paid by the Housing Authority to the landlord, every month
- Security Deposit assistance may be available for new leases
- New participating landlords may also qualify for a $1,500 bonus
Ending family homelessness is within our reach – but we need your help to ensure every family and child has a place to call home.