SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Time and hope are running out for San Jose’s Hope Village. The homeless tent encampment must pack up and leave by the end of the month as county and city leaders figure out where they will go next.
“This model is extremely low cost, it’s extremely effective,” said James, who is a resident at Hope Village and didn’t want to give his last name.
The small community of tents is much different than the cars, RVs and campsites he used to live in before arriving at the encampment.
Hope Village was created last year by San Jose Catholic workers, but has since moved several locations because of opposition.
Their fate is yet again uncertain as the county’s lease with the city of San Jose is up next week. The property the tents sit on is a small lot near the San Jose Mineta International Airport, and is not deemed residential.
Hope Village had hoped to move to an empty lot, which is owned by the Santa Clara Water District, on Willow and LeLong near Willow Glen. But the idea was tabled when nearby residents said in a recent meeting that they had no idea the encampment would be coming, and many expressed their concerns and opposition.
“I think the city needs to find a solution for them, not in our neighborhoods,” said Willow Glen resident Lynn Bowers.
She didn’t attend the meeting with the water district, but said she was also concerned about Hope Village moving in just two blocks from her home. She said the homeless go into her neighborhood everyday, and she worries an encampment would exacerbate the issue.
“I’m sympathetic to the homeless, however, we have the homeless here already,” she said. “You know, they look for food in our garbage cans and it’s really a sad situation, but I don’t want it to escalate.”
James said he is actually sympathetic to Willow Glen residents like Bowers.
“I think they have legitimate concerns,” he said.
But he also hopes someone is sympathetic to them, and doesn’t close the door on Hope Village for good.
The San Jose city council is expected to discuss Hope Village on Tuesday, four days before the lease is up and the encampment is expected to clear out.