Posted on 06/17/2020 6:01 am

San Jose Mercury News

After spending two months and more than $1.3 million repairing dozens of dilapidated state-owned trailers for homeless residents, San Jose is dismantling the temporary shelter site — just one month after people moved in.

Citing poor living conditions for elderly residents and constant maintenance burdens for the city, officials over the weekend transferred more than 30 homeless residents from the trailer site on a city-owned parking lot near Happy Hollow Park to county-leased hotel rooms.

The move came just one month after San Jose entered a $730,000 contract with Abode Services, a Bay Area-based homeless service provider, to operate 90 trailers to isolate homeless individuals with confirmed or presumed cases of COVID-19 or who have pre-existing conditions and are at a high risk of contracting the disease. Residents moved in two days later.

“We all recognize that this was an experiment,” Ragan Henninger, the city’s deputy director of housing, said in an interview Tuesday. “After giving it our best to make it work, we had to prioritize the safety and health of the vulnerable homeless people we were serving.”

Nearly 6,200 people in San Jose don’t have a place to call home and county health officials believe that at least 2,500 of them are at high risk of infection due to underlying conditions, according to San Jose Housing Director Jacky Ferrand-Morales. The majority of the city’s homeless population identify as Black or Hispanic — two segments of the population that are disproportionately getting infected by COVID-19.

In what was initially hailed as a welcome boost to the city’s housing supply for homeless residents especially vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Office of Emergency Services delivered 104 emergency trailers to San Jose just days after the statewide shelter-in-place order went into effect in mid-March.

But the seemingly free donation, inevitably cost the city significant resources, staff time and more than $1.3 million in inspections, repairs and maintenance emergencies.

Shortly after they were delivered to San Jose, the city discovered the trailers were riddled with defects — from missing sinks and countertops to damaged vents to inadequate electrical, water and sewage hookups. Only 90 of the 104 trailers were even deemed habitable by the city.



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Hal Slusher
Hal Slusher
19 hours ago

Wonder who the lucky MO FO sold that to the city

John Steele
John Steele
1 day ago

only government would dump that kind of money and get taken for a ride. Its exactly like Gel Hair getting scammed over 1 billion $$ for face masks.