SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — The tiny home project for the homeless is getting another chance in San Jose, following a backlash from some community members.
City council members voted Tuesday to go forward with a tiny home project, consisting of 40 homes in at least three different sites. The question now is: where will they go?
Kimberly Gana is one of more than 4,000 homeless individuals in San Jose. She says something needs to be done.
“Everybody out here needs a little help. Everyone,” Gana said.
For the last couple of years Gana’s lived in a trailer with her husband on a street near Mineta San Jose International Airport.
“It’s bad, you have a lot of people sleeping in tents,” Gana said.
Her trailer is just feet from one of more than 120 sites being considered by city leaders to build a tiny home community for the homeless.
“It’s going to help some, not a whole bunch. It will help some of them,” Gana said.
San Jose’s Interim Deputy Director of Housing Ray Bransom said, “I don’t think there’s any silver bullet or any one solution, but we’re excited about the opportunity to look at whatever options we have to get people off the streets.”
City leaders came up with a list of 99 city-owned properties as potential sites.
But some residents rallied against welcoming the homeless communities into their neighborhoods.
So the city housing department added nearly two dozen other properties to the list farther from schools and neighborhoods and are now focused on narrowing down the best sites.
“We’re going to be looking at a proposed scoring matrix to help select and score sites,” Bransom said. “So we’re looking at environmental factors, we’re looking at proximity to neighborhoods and residential parcels.”
Gana said among the many homeless are lots of youths.
“There’s a lot of kids out here. You wouldn’t think so, but there are. There’s a lot of kids out here,” Gana said.
City leaders say they’ll hear out concerned community members who don’t want the tiny homes near them at all.
Among the concerned residents, was one who told the city council that she’s concerned it will draw more homeless to the area.
It remains unknown where the tiny homes will go, but the tiny homes must be built by 2022.