- San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo announced that the city will spend $ 17 million on pre-built tiny houses for the homeless.
- San Jose has approximately 6,000 residents with no reliable shelter and only 850 shelter beds for them.
- Experts warned that the coronavirus could hit homeless populations particularly hard as they may not be able to practice social distancing and self-isolation.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
San Jose City officials voted to spend $ 17 million on the homeless, Mercury News’ Maggie Angst reported.
Over half a million people are homeless in the United States each night, and about 6,000 people are homeless in San Jose alone. There are currently 850 beds available in the city, which is less than 15% of the population. Since the coronavirus outbreak, San Jose has compensated for this by renting motel rooms, setting up temporary caravans, and converting two downtown convention centers into additional shelters.
San Jose has pledged to spend $ 17 million on the prefabricated homes, despite a projected budget shortage of $ 110 million over the next two years. To make up for the difference, the city plans to take advantage of Homeless Shelter, Aid and Prevention (HHAP), a government grant to help fight homelessness. San Jose originally planned to use the money on a homeless navigation center to help people move to permanent housing, but the plan failed because the city couldn’t find a place for it.
Medical experts and lawyers for the homeless have found that unprotected residents are particularly at risk because social distancing is difficult in shelters and people who have been exposed or diagnosed with COVID-19 are unable to self-isolate. A new study estimates 3,400 homeless people across the country will die of COVID-19 and more than 21,000 will be hospitalized.
This is what the tiny home plan looks like.