By Deb Kramer
This was my first year participating in the Homeless Point in time Census. I’d read the numbers from year’s past, but to go out at 5:30AM and work as a team to count homeless people was surreal.
We had a guide who was homeless. Goldie was excited to help with the project since she knew that getting a good count would lead to funding from multiple agencies for help to her cohort. My other two partners were from HomeFirst. Together, we drove up and down the streets of two census tracts in San Jose. Not the most glamorous of jobs, but certainly useful.
In the end, we observed 30 vehicles that housed people in a residential neighborhood and surrounding businesses. Some lived in small RVs, others in their cars or trucks. However, nearly all had spotless surroundings, unlike some of the locations I’ve come across along our creeks.
Overall, this was a good experience, although a bit tiring since I had to get up at 4:30 in the AM!
For more information about homeless census data, see the City of San Jose’s Ending Homelessness web page with previous year’s reports for the City and for the County. An article was published on SF Gate about the effort.