The Homeless Population of San Jose
Homeless encampments in San Jose are a single aspect of a broader set of problems that are related to the public disorder, street life, and homelessness.
Dealing with homeless people living on the streets- and encampments can at times be fraught with danger. Some individuals believe that homelessness is a lifestyle choice, and hence the need to protect it under the law, while others claim that it is a product of social, and economic factors. There is also another group of people that believes that homeless people are victims of abusive childhoods, mental illness or even addiction.
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Homeless San Jose CA Stats
Regardless of what your personal beliefs, there is a need to help the homeless people in San Jose. According to a recent census (carried out in 2013), it was found out that there are over four thousand, seven hundred and eighty people homeless individuals residing in San Jose, CA on any given night. It is a number that represents sixty-three percent of the entire homeless San Jose CA population, which stands at slightly over seven thousand.
Though there are those that are calling for the criminalization of homelessness; there is a need to ensure that the constitutional rights of the homeless are not violated, especially those that pertain to the First, Fourth, Eighth and Fourteen Amendments.
Homeless Encampments: What are they?
A homeless encampment can take on a broad range of forms such as groups sleeping in parks, tent cities, groups residing under freeway overpasses, on sidewalks, or even in transportation tunnels.
It is important to note that a single person setting up shelter in such a location will not be seen as an encampment. Studies have shown that encampments will often come in varying sizes. For instance, those located in the woods tend to be very small and are occupied by a few campers, while those in freeway underpasses are larger in nature, and may have one hundred or more people.
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The shelters in use at the homeless encampments vary. Many include tents and lean-to’s carved from cardboards, and in some cases elaborate structures that include doors and windows. For established encampments, the structures tend to be better constructed.
The Jungle was a well known San Jose site that was a place of misery where perhaps the nation’s largest homeless encampment, numbering as many as 300 people, once spread along a polluted Coyote Creek — a painful symbol of Silicon Valley’s struggle to offer affordable housing in one of the richest places on Earth.
Helping the Homeless San Jose CA
The world of the homeless people living in San Jose encampments and streets may seem very different and far from yours, but in a way, it is very near.
It is important to understand who constitutes the homeless, and also learn to treat them as individuals. One of the first steps towards helping a homeless person is to see them as a person and to try and establish what they need. Some are just starved for attention and will be glad to talk to anyone, even for a few minutes.