Sheltering Our Neighbors Through Crisis and Beyond

November 18, 2020 Volunteer Habitat News

An update from our Emergency Interim Housing partnership

The public health data are clear: our unhoused neighbors are at high risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. And with sheltering in place as one of our strongest protections against the disease, the City of San Jose needed a solution for those with no place to go. For that, they turned to Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley.

Habitat for Humanity's Bridge Housing CommunityNow, on Monterey Road in San Jose, an Emergency Interim Housing community is giving formerly unhoused individuals transitional housing with a secure place for their belongings, private washrooms, and access to kitchen, laundry, a dog run, bike racks. Plus, an array of supportive services from HomeFirst will help them not only remain safe during this pandemic, but work toward the stability of permanent housing.

With space to house 78 people at a time, the Monterey Road community prioritizes individuals whose age or medical conditions leave them especially vulnerable to complications from COVID-19. As a result, this program is saving lives, protecting the health of our greater community, and putting more people on the path to permanence – which was cause for celebration at a recent opening ceremony attended by Governor Gavin Newsom and Mayor Sam Liccardo.

“Thank you for being here for this remarkable moment,” Governor Newsom said at the celebration. “It’s a moment that proves a paradigm: that we can solve this issue… Our approach has to be organized with a discipline and a sensibility that is self-evident at this remarkable project.”Newsom at EIH

Mayor Liccardo was sure to recognize Habitat’s contribution to the community, saying, “We had amazing leadership from our partners at Habitat for Humanity, who led the construction...They’re actually managing professional projects like this, and helping us really scale our efforts in the battle against homelessness, and I’m just so grateful.”

That scale is key. When complete, we will have built five communities in San Jose with a total of 276 units of Emergency Interim Housing that, over the next five years, will transition nearly 10,000 unhoused individuals, families, and children to safe, affordable housing.


VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: We have a few spots to volunteer and build these cabins through the first week in December. Click here to see availability and get signed up!

Our community of support – from volunteer groups and dedicated regulars, to partners from our corporate and faith communities – has been instrumental in creating these communities. This endeavor has required collaboration, innovation, and a lot of hustle – and we’re grateful to our community for being a part of it.

It all comes down to giving more of our neighbors the feeling that Sandy, a resident at the Monterey community, shared. “You treat us as real people. Not as statistics, but as real people,” she said, adding, “I feel like I’m home.”


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