SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — One year after two South Bay officials made a pledge to help homeless veterans, the program they started was celebrating the progress that has been made.
After his latest stint of homelessness in San Jose, army veteran Nicolas Jaramillo is beginning a new chapter in his life.
“These are my keys to my apartment,” exclaimed Jaramillo. “[It’s] like I won the lottery! But this is just the beginning, because now the real journey begins.”
Unfortunately, Jaramillo has struggled through that journey several times; the first time more than two decades ago.
“At the time, there was no help,” said Jaramillo. “They just set you out give you a paycheck and bye. I’ve been on the street three different times; three different struggles.”
But Jaramillo says a lot has changed.
Last year on Veteran’s Day, Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo made a promise.
“By the 100th anniversary of Veteran’s Day in 2018, that we will end veteran’s homelessness in this valley,” Liccardo stated at a 2015 Veteran’s Day event.
When asked Friday if he though he was on track to keep his promise, the mayor was optimistic.
The bad news is that we still have homeless veterans. The good news is we’re ahead of schedule,” said Liccardo.
On Veteran’s Day this year, city and county leaders announced they have made significant progress.
The county’s All the Way Home program has housed more than 500 of the 700 homeless veterans in Santa Clara County.
Cortese himself is renting a room to a veteran.
“You know, he’s a great guy, said Cortese. He has a couple of jobs he works hard and he’s a good tenant.”
“And we’re not going to stop until we get every veteran housed,” said Liccardo.
Next week, the mayor and Cortese will visit the White House to talk about the success of the All the Way Home program.