How to Find Homeless Services and Accommodation in San Jose

The past year has been difficult for many people in San Jose, especially those affected by homelessness and housing insecurity.

Finding information about accommodation and apartments can be a difficult and confusing process. Here is a guide to answering some of the most frequently asked questions from readers about finding a home, as well as some helpful resources.

What types of lodging and accommodation are there in San Jose?

There are many terms that refer to housing options and they can be confusing. Let’s break them down:

Accommodation: Homeless shelters in South Bay offer a bed and an overnight stay. You may also be referred to a motel room depending on your health and vulnerability. These are not permanent housing options. There are eight shelters in San Jose.

Supportive accommodation: Usually an apartment. When you live in supportive housing, you also have access to services such as psychological counseling, addiction support, housing vouchers and vocational training.

Transitional / Intermediate / Bridge Housing: A place that someone moves in for a short period of time while looking for long-term housing. These are usually also apartments.

Affordable Housing: Apartments that have limited rental costs, usually based on a person’s income level, which can range from extremely low income to low income.

Rapid Rehousing: Rapid Rehousing is a program that helps individuals and families find a rental place and provides government funding to support payment for a set period of time. The program provides case management and support with the aim of helping individuals or families hire themselves.

What should you do when you need accommodation?

The first step is to call the Santa Clara County Homeless Line at (408) 278-6420. They are open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. During the call, an outreach agent asks questions about your age, health, living situation, and more. Depending on your vulnerability, they will refer you to a shelter or motel room. If the line is busy, leave a message and an outreach agent will be in touch. The hotline has interpreters for Spanish, Vietnamese and Tagalog.

Some San Jose accommodations are first come, first served. A list of protection locations and contact information can be found here. If you’re looking for a shelter that accepts families with children, you can also call (408) 926-8885 to be placed on a waiting list.

What if i don’t have access to a phone? Is there a place where I can make a phone call or speak to someone directly?

If you don’t have a phone, you can visit your local drop-in center or animal shelter and ask for the phone. Here you will find a list of contact points, emergency shelters and other homeless services.

You can also use the phone at the Catholic Charities walk-in mail window in downtown San Jose: 195 E San Fernando St.

“If you see a homeless person, ask them if they have a cell phone,” said Andrea Urton, CEO of HomeFirst. “If they say they won’t, let them use your cell phone to call the helpline and then clean up your phone.”

If you’re a teenager under the age of 24, the Bill Wilson Center has a drop-in center at 693 South 2nd Street that offers meals, showers, laundry, and help with finding accommodation.

What information do I have to provide? Which forms do I have to fill out? Will sharing this information affect my immigration status?

The rating that the outreach employee will give you is known as the Vulnerability Index – Tool for Decision Support in Prioritizing Services or VI-SPDAT. You will be asked for your birthday, social security number, where you are currently sleeping, history of homelessness, medical history and financial situation. Information about the VI-SPDAT is not passed on for immigration purposes and no questions are asked about immigration.

How long will I wait for a unit?

The average duration of a transfer to a shelter or temporary location is 1-2 days. Some recommendations are offered on the same day. For long-term placement, it depends on your personal situation and how vulnerable you are, as shown by your VI-SPDAT score. For some in a rapid rehousing program, the process may take a few months; for others, several years.

What if I don’t feel comfortable staying in an animal shelter for traumatic / psychological reasons? Is there a place where I can find a private space, such as a hotel room?

Urton advises asking for case management to help develop a plan and find housing.

“I would really wholeheartedly encourage people and do the referral from the shelter,” said Urton. “Even if it’s not the motel you want, take the referral to the shelter. And when you arrive at the shelter, request case management from the provider and say, “I need to find accommodation. Help me develop an apartment plan. ‘We will do our best to find someone to help you. “

How is an apartment found, e.g. B. an apartment? How do I qualify and how long does it take?

After calling the Santa Clara County Homeless Line (408) 278-6420, you will be referred to a program or placed on a waiting list to assist with housing. The program you are referred to and the time it takes to complete this process will depend on your personal situation.

What if I don’t have a source of transportation to get to places?

The hotline offers you a lift. You can also contact the HomeFirst outreach team at (408) 510-7600 to schedule an appointment for a ride.

I would like to stay in one of the COVID hotels. Walk me through the process of finding a room there.

These hotels are offered to homeless people who are at risk for COVID-19 (the elderly, people with a certain number of underlying health conditions, etc.). The first step in determining if you qualify is to call the Santa Clara County Homeless Line (408) 278-6420.

Where can I find help like a hot meal while waiting for an answer?

In downtown San Jose, CityTeam offers breakfast from 6:30 am to 7:00 am and dinner from 5:00 pm to 5:45 pm on weekdays. It offers breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and dinner from 5:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The location is 1174 Old Bayshore Hwy in San Jose.

In East San Jose, Loaves & Fishes serves hot meals at the 408 Eastside Neighborhood Center from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm every weekday.

In South San Jose, Loaves & Fishes serves hot meals at St. Maria Goretti Church on Wednesdays and Fridays from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

In North San Jose, Loaves & Fishes serves hot meals Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4pm to 5pm.

In West San Jose and Cupertino, West Valley Community Services has a pantry that is open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. There is also a mobile pantry where you can find times and places.

The Second Harvest Food Bank at 750 Curtner Avenue in San Jose offers groceries.

A list of additional resources for housing, rental assistance, meals, health programs, professional training, and programs for veterans and youth can be found here.

Contact Patricia Wei at [email protected]

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