Hope Village is a homeless camp in San Jose offering new tents, showers, storage lockers and other ameniteis.

KCBS Radio

Homeless Camp With Amenities Opens But Already Faces Threats

Matt Bigler
September 11, 2018 - 5:41 pm

SAN JOSE — A new style of homeless encampment popped up last Saturday in San Jose offering a wider array of amenities, but the highway patrol is already threatening to shut it down. 

In a parking lot behind green fencing near the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport, the camp looks like something you might find in a state park. There are 10 eight-by-eight foot tents, a shower trailer, portable toilets, and stations to charge cell phones and electronics. One of the tents is designated as a meeting hall.

Curtis, one of the seven residents already settling into “Hope Village,” said having a secure locker to store his belongings is the biggest benefit of all the amenities 

“That’s the only thing that allows me to go out and do job searches,” he told KCBS. “I don’t have to worry about people stealing my stuff while I’m gone.”

Andrew Lanier, an organizer, said the village is possible thanks to homeless advocates and non-profit groups. All told, it can accommodate up to 30 people.

"Why not create an area where they can have safety, dignity and stability, and have the basic resources they need so they can work on getting into housing?' Lanier asked. 

The camp, however, is on a state-owned lot and the California Highway Patrol has already posted a notice telling campers they must vacate the area by Thursday.

Lanier said they're hoping that the safe, clean environment persuades city officials to grant a permanent site for the village.

Written by Brian Krans.