Silicon Valley clears out notorious homeless ‘Jungle’ camp | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Silicon Valley clears out notorious homeless ‘Jungle’ camp

Authorities began Thursday dismantling a notorious homeless camp known as “The Jungle” in the heart of California’s affluent Silicon Valley.

Municipal workers in white overalls and face masks moved into the camp along a creek in San Jose, where some 300 people live in tents and other makeshift lodging.

The encampment, only a few minutes away from the city’s downtown district, is home to people forced out of an overheating rental market as lucrative tech companies moved in in recent years.

“We have been rehousing for the last 18 months,” San Jose city spokesman David Vossbrink told AFP, saying they had found places for some 140 people in shelters, with some in hotels and motels.

Some 60 other people had received offers of rent subsidies but have not yet found somewhere to live, he added.

The operation to close down the camp will last two or three weeks, and will include putting up a reinforced fence to prevent anyone coming back and settling in again.

But the spokesman admitted that those forced to leave the “Jungle” could not all expect to be housed by the city, which has budgeted nearly $10 million over three years for homeless.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am stunned that apparently, San Jose is unable to learn that there are far better ways of handling this than just chasing the indigent out of homeless encampments. As reported at nationofchange.org:

In eight years, Utah has quietly reduced homelessness by 78 percent, and is on track to end homelessness by 2015. How did Utah accomplish this? Simple. Utah solved homelessness by giving people homes. In 2005, Utah figured out that the annual cost of E.R. visits and jail stays for homeless people was about $16,670 per person, compared to $11,000 to provide each homeless person with an apartment and a social worker. So, the state began giving away apartments, with no strings attached. Each participant in Utah’s Housing First program also gets a caseworker to help them become self-sufficient, but they keep the apartment even if they fail. The program has been so successful that other states are hoping to achieve similar results with programs modeled on Utah’s. It sounds like Utah borrowed a page from Homes Not Handcuffs, the 2009 report by The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and The National Coalition for the Homeless. Using a 2004 survey and anecdotal evidence from activists, the report concluded that permanent housing for the homeless is cheaper than criminalization. Housing is not only more human, it’s economical. This happened in a Republican state! Republicans in Congress would probably have required the homeless to take a drug test before getting an apartment, denied apartments to homeless people with criminal records, and evicted those who failed to become self-sufficient after five years or so. But Utah’s results show that even conservative states can solve problems like homelessness with decidedly progressive solutions.

Congrats, Utah State government; what you have done in this regard is monumentally inspiring, and should give a clue to the clueless in other state and city governments about how to solve the problem of homelessness permanently, and spend much less of the state's money in the process.

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