Santa Clara County

Santa Clara County is managing referrals to temporary homeless shelters. The County is responding to calls seven days a week from 9 am to 6 pm at 408-278-6420.

The County has tapped Valley Homeless Healthcare Program (VHHP) and Gardner Health Services, non-profit partners, with identifying homeless individuals who have multiple underlying health conditions identified by the CDC that make them at high risk if they were to contract COVID-19. We have prioritized sheltering these at-risk individuals. Additionally, medical providers go to encampments, shelters and community-based organizations multiple times per week throughout the City and County to share information about COVID-19 and provide medical care.

VHHP is now providing mass asymptomatic COVID-19 swabbing for the homeless community at all congregate sites. This includes all shelters, safe parking sites and encampments of 10 or more people. The testing will be administered monthly at all sites.

Learn more about the County’s response.

Partnership between Santa Clara County and the City of San Jose

In response to the COVID-19 emergency and the City’s shelter crisis declaration, the City of San José is developing three emergency interim housing communities to help protect unhoused people from the disease, slow the spread of COVID-19, and expand the City’s interim housing capacity after the emergency recedes. One of these emergency interim housing communities will be in Council District 6 on Evans Lane near Almaden Expressway. The City Council has approved construction of an emergency interim housing community at the intersection of Monterey Road and Bernal Road. The City Council has also directed staff to develop plans for emergency interim housing on Rue Ferrari near Highway 101.

The City of San José is working closely with the County of Santa Clara, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Destination: Home, Valley Homeless Healthcare Program (VHHP), and many partner agencies and nonprofits on a coordinated effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate the impact COVID-19 could have on homeless individuals and families. You can find more information about this coordinated effort here.

Steps the City is taking to support our homeless neighbors include:

  • Suspending abatements of homeless encampments to avoid unintentionally placing people at greater risk of exposure to COVID-19
  • Placing hygiene equipment such as handwashing stations and portable toilets at large homeless encampments to help slow the spread of COVID-19
  • Arranging for garbage collection at homeless encampments to help maintain sanitary conditions
  • Providing information in multiple languages to homeless individuals in shelters, on the streets, and in encampments to help them understand how they can protect themselves from COVID-19
  • Using South Hall as a temporary shelter for unhoused adults
  • Using the Camden Community Center as a temporary shelter for unhoused families
  • Identifying older homeless individuals with chronic health conditions who should be sheltered or isolated
  • Operating two Safe Parking locations 24/7
  • Piloting a food distribution program that provides boxed meals to unhoused residents at two encampments

The City and County are distributing fliers from the CDC and public health officials that describe the steps everyone should be taking to slow the spread of COVID-19. These fliers include:

Motel Conversions

On June 30, 2020, Governor Newsom announced the $600 million Homekey Initiative, a hotel/motel conversion strategy designed to bring permanent housing for the homeless on line quickly and cost effectively. The Homekey initiative builds on the state’s current COVID-19 emergency housing response effort, Project Roomkey, which has provided state funding to cover the rent at local hotel and motel rooms for more than 14,200 medically vulnerable unhoused people since the beginning of the pandemic. We were happy to see that, as of September 29th, three Homekey projects in Santa Clara County had received funding awards.

  • The City of San Jose has been awarded $14,516,000 to turn a 76-unit property currently operating as a Project Roomkey project into permanent housing.
  • The City of Mountain View will receive $12.3 million to acquire land to site 100 manufactured units that will serve as interim housing with wraparound services and a coordinated exit strategy, more than doubling shelter beds in the city. Overall cost is under $100,000 per unit.
  • Santa Clara County will receive $29.2 million to acquire an occupancy-ready, 146-room property in Milpitas with in-room kitchenettes for permanent residencies.

Learn more about the Homekey Initiative projects in the South Bay and much more, at SV@Home’s Resource Hub.