Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager supports creating an LGBTQ homeless shelter in San Jose.

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2nd County LGBTQ Homeless Shelter In U.S. Nears Approval In Santa Clara

Mike Colgan
October 15, 2018 - 2:51 pm

The country's second county-run LGBTQ homeless shelter is expected to be approved Tuesday by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.

Nearly one in three people who are homeless in the county identify as LGBTQ, according to records. But mainstream shelters may not offer services that meet their needs and they are sometimes even be places of discrimination.

"There's still a lot of resentment and misunderstanding about LGBTQ people," said Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager. He's the first openly gay member of the county board.

"One of the exciting aspects of this LGBTQ-friendly temporary housing program is to be able to house a lot of these transitional youth and adults, because clearly there is a need," he said. 

The proposal calls for the city of San Jose to lease downtown land to county officials for a facility. 

Santa Clara officials have not specified the size of the proposed shelter or suggested when it could possibly open. 

Adrienne Keel, the director of LGBTQ programs for Family and Children Services, said the community experiences a disproportionate amount of  discrimination from landlords. 

"That might affect their ability to get their housing," she said. 

San Francisco is the only other county with a dedicated shelter for LGBTQ people, officials said.