The SVO Voices Support for Emergency Bridge Housing Communities

#AdvocacyMatters The Silicon Valley Organization

On behalf of The Silicon Valley Organization (The SVO), I am writing to express support for the staff recommendation to approve two bridge housing communities that will construct 80 emergency sleeping cabins for unhoused individuals. By way of background, The SVO is the Silicon Valley’s premier business advocacy organization representing 1,400+ companies that employ nearly 300,000 workers and we represent our membership as the region’s largest Chamber of Commerce.

We are supportive of the City’s intent to provide an immediate homeless response solution. While The SVO believes that permanent housing at every income level and case management services are the long-term solutions to the homelessness crisis, we also recognize that immediate solutions are required especially when the city lacks badly needed shelter for our homeless residents. Homelessness is a distasteful reminder that not everybody is partaking in our region’s economic success. We must do everything we can to ensure that homeless residents are on a pathway to selfsufficiency and sustainability through good-paying jobs, so that they can start giving back to our community.

When The SVO visited Seattle for our annual Study Mission, we had the opportunity to visit a tiny home community in the heart of the city’s urban core. We learned that authorized tiny homes are a desirable outcome for homeless individuals, as the City of Seattle was able to provide shelter, hygiene services, case management services, including access to heat, electricity and security. One of the key takeaways from the Study Mission was that “everybody needs to be a part of the solution” when it comes to our homelessness response plan. Thus, we look forward to working with the Mayor’s Office and the City of San Jose, when it comes to proactive solutions to supporting our unhoused residents get access to security and shelter.

For these reasons and more, The SVO supports the emergency resolution to authorize two bridge housing communities throughout San José. In fact, we hope that there will be more authorized shelters for our homeless neighbors.