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San Jose city leaders want community feedback on unhoused encampment

For over a year, neighbors and businesses along Willow Street in San Jose say a growing homeless encampment nearby has been causing a lot of health and security concerns.

Now, San Jose city leaders want to hear from businesses and neighbors on Willow Street.

“We’ve gotten a lot of complaints about the encampment at Willow from both the business owners here as well as the residents,” said San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan.

NBC Bay Area has been reporting on the complaints for over a year and residents said they are seeing human feces on the streets, vandalism and burglaries.

Yahairo Campos told NBC Bay Area’s sister station Telemundo 48 Saturday night that it’s gotten worse over the last few years.

Street vendor Anita Zavala said that they are constantly worried about getting robbed or run-ins with sometimes intoxicated people from the nearby encampment.

Now, city leaders are inviting community members to voice their concerns at a meeting next Wednesday.

Mahan said the city wants to find a solution for the families on Willow Street but also for the unhoused community.

“We don’t know how many people are at that specific encampment but we have over 4,000 people in the city of San Jose who are living unsheltered,” said San Jose councilmember Dev Davis.

“This is a real challenge, we don’t have enough safe places for people to go and we wanna work with the community to expand places for where people could be, from permanent affordable housing, to more immediate solutions like safe sleeping sites,” Mahan said.

Mahan added the city of San Jose is making some strides. From investing in long term, affordable permanent housing, to more basic forms of shelter like modular units.

“And we were building a waiting list that got up to about 400 people and we had to stop taking names,” he said.

Small business owners simply hope the city can find a way to keep their neighborhood clean and safe.

For more information on the meeting, click or tap here.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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