SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — San Jose’s first sanctioned tent camp for the homeless is being called a success. But it also has to pack up and move.
The city of San Jose is not renewing its lease with the County of Santa Clara for a city-owned plot on Ruff Drive. Hope Village will have to vacate the location by the end of March.READ MORE: Gov. Newsom: Feds Approve Medicaid Funding for Expanded Low-Income Student COVID Testing
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to move ahead with plans to move the encampment and possibly upgrade the housing.
“The action we’re going to take is to move Hope Village to a new home and a new type of housing that is a little more aligned with tiny homes than tents,” said Supervisor Cindy Chavez.
The county is proposing to build tiny wood homes to replace tents at the new Hope Village. They would have electricity and running water. But some Hope Village residents told KPIX they would rather stay in tents.
“We’re good here. If we’re not broken, don’t fix it. Let us carry on,” said Linda Andrade, who’s lived in Hope Village for the last four months.
“The tents block the wind really well,” said Jolene Mullinex, another Hope Village Resident.READ MORE: South Bay BART Extension Funding Dropped From $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Package
Some residents worry that if they move into upgraded housing, there will be more restrictions and regulations that they don’t want. They say that could ruin the Hope Village concept.
“The key when we started was to have something that was replicable, at a modest cost,” said Peter Miron Conk, who co-founded Hope Village.
The tent encampment started in 2018 with Catholic workers who first took over a state parking lot, then forged the first-of-its-kind agreement with San Jose and Santa Clara County to let it stay on city land for a limited time.
The county is now in talks with the Valley Water District to move Hope Village to a partially paved lot off Willow Street between the Guadalupe River and Highway 87. Another site under review is in the city of Milpitas.
After a lengthy discussion, supervisors said the new Hope Village could be a mixture of tents and tiny homes.
“We want to make sure that these simple, quick tent communities are allowed,” said Supervisor Dave Cortese. “They don’t cost much and
I think Hope Village proved they can work.”