SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A key decision is expected Tuesday night on how the Bay Area’s biggest city plans to tackle its homeless crisis.
But, San Jose’s latest plan for housing the homeless isn’t sitting too well with some residents.READ MORE: 'He's In Good Spirits;' Former OPD Capt. Ersie Joyner Recovering After Shooting; Remains in ICU
The city wants to build temporary homes on a vacant lot on Evans Lane, but the plan has some people living nearby on edge.
It might not look like much, but the vacant lot, owned by the city of San Jose, is a battleground. One that will test city leaders’ commitment to finding solutions to homelessness.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said, “The homelessness crisis in the city is an urgent one. And that demands that we act immediately. We can certainly talk about what we’d like to build five or six years from now. But that’s now going to do anything about the fact that there are thousands of people in our parks, and our streets and our creeks.”
The city has two dueling plans for the property. One involves building temporary shelters, essentially trailers, for the homeless in the next year.READ MORE: Fremont Neighbors Of Movie Director Joel Souza Stunned Over Shooting On Set Of Alec Baldwin Movie
The other, a high-rise apartment building, with some affordable housing, that could take five or more years to build.
Neighbors say they’re concerned about the impact of either project.
Neighbor Maylean Carrillo said, she’s “concerned about how it will affect the crime in this neighborhood. I’m constantly looking over my shoulder, worried about who’s trying to break into my house or car.”
But homeless advocates say more than 4,000 men and women already live on the streets of San Jose. Giving them shelter, providing needed services, they say, is not only humane but it might reduce crime.MORE NEWS: Pfizer Scientist Testifies Against Holmes in Theranos Trial
Homeless advocate Robert Aguirre said, “People are living outdoors as it is. So, if you can build something quickly, you can take people off the street, off the freeway, off the creeks and put them into housing.”