By Mike Colgan

The first new homeless shelter built in the Santa Clara Valley in more than a decade could also be one of the last built in San Jose for a long time.

The city broke ground Thursday on a $16 million facility in East San Jose that will serve 35 families.

Pat Crowder, executive director of Family Supportive Housing which will operate the shelter, said finding that kind of money for another shelter has become very difficult.

“This was just kind of like a lot of things coming together that made this whole thing happen,” she said.

KCBS Mike Colgan Reporting:

“I don’t know that there’s the will to do something, and I’m not a hundred percent sure there’s the need to do a whole lot more.”

The shelter replaces an older building that was closed because city code enforcers deemed the 13-square foot rooms too small for entire families.

Rooms in the new shelter will look like apartments and measure 350 square feet to 550 square feet, Crowder said.

When it opens in March 2012, the building on North King Road will be five stories tall and designed to look like it “comes out of the Earth,” painted in colors that signal a welcoming environment, she said.

The shelter will house families where there are two parents, allowing them to live with their sons or daughters even if they are teenagers, Crowder said.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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