( 184 ratings )

Innovative Solutions to Serve the Homeless in San Jose

the City of San Jose | June 30, 2014

This summary is a part of San Jose’s application to the City Accelerator, through which cities would advance urban innovations that will have a significant impact in the lives of their residents, especially low-income residents. Watch the city’s pitch video, read the summary, and rate their submission on its potential to: impact low-income people; expand innovation by the city; and, scale to other cities.

What is San Jose proposing?

The City of San Jose  has been working to re-energize its workforce through a series of employee- initiated efforts following layoffs and service cuts in the wake of the Great Recession (see #SanJoseProud ). As part of this effort, the City has seeded a nonprofit, the Silicon Valley Talent Partnership, to manage pro-bono private sector partnerships to improve service delivery. For the City Accelerator, San Jose would coordinate efforts among city leaders, nonprofits, and community partners and resources from the City Accelerator to better target, coordinate and deliver services for the homeless. Their work would enhance public agency processes, encourage data-driven decision-making, foster innovation across departments, and broaden civic engagement to better serve this highly vulnerable population.

How will it accomplish this?

As a member of the first cohort and with the help from the City Accelerator and Silicon Valley Talent Partnership, San Jose would:

  • deliver a more strategic and comprehensive package of services to the homeless or underserved, including job training and employment, housing and other relevant services;
  • improve marketing and communications with city agencies, nonprofit partners, citizens and homeless constituents to ensure city resources are optimized, and
  • develop or utilize technology to facilitate the dissemination of real-time information on available homeless resources in Silicon Valley.  


( 184 ratings )


Melissa    on: Aug 11    

Silicon Valley should channel the same innovative solutions that it uses in its great corporation for a humanitarian cause.

America    on: Aug 1    

San Jose is a promising City of possibilities and innovation. This video brings to light a critical social issue of the homeless population that requires the collaborative effort of many entities to find viable solutions. The video emphasizes both the need and possible solutions. It reflects the social consciousness of our city to acknowledge and set the infrastructure to empower our most vulnerable population to rise above the hardship and become architects of their future.

Allison    on: Aug 1    

This is an important model for re-thinking how to address homelessness and other pressing social issues. The public, private, and non-governmental sector all have a role to play to make positive, impactful change. Other cities should learn from such a model.

Jelena    on: Jul 31    

Interesting approach, seems like some very worthwhile possibilities for collaboration and transferable learning for other cities

Rebecca Goldberg    on: Jul 31    

impressive ideas and solutions raised to address issues related to the homeless. I hope other communities use this as an example to also start taking action.

Max Neiman    on: Jul 31    

Some of the video quality wasn't the greatest and the officials don't always express themselves with sufficient passion. Their voices often trail and don't always seem sufficiently dramatic for this important issue. Wish I knew more about the purpose of the video.

Dave Morgan    on: Jul 31    

Really excited for this plan.

Lee Hyun Park    on: Jul 31    

The city's plans will be effective in the long run.

Anita Ramaswamy    on: Jul 31    

It's sad to see that the living conditions of the homeless here is almost as bad as it is in slums in my hometown of Tambaram near Chennai, India. To see the state of the poverty in such a developed, high-income country being en par with a developing nation is extremely depressing. I think what San Jose has in mind to help out these people is hugely important, efficient, and appropriate to solve this issue.

James Vanderheide    on: Jul 31    

The city is completely set with their solutions unlike their competitors.

Michelle Wong    on: Jul 31    

Walking through San Jose, you can see the need for helping the homeless. I live in a low-income area of the city and can see first-hand the troubles faced by the homeless. The city deserves a chance to help them out. I think their solutions are clear and focussed unlike what many others are saying. They don't understand the need for helping out San Jose. I do on the other hand. That's why I know what the city plans to do is correct.

Paul Boehm    on: Jul 31    

Friends of Los Gatos Creek is an outstanding organization. The tonage of trash extracted from the Los Gatos Creek is now in the 40-50 range, I believe. We have regularly scheduled cleanup dates. This has helped the homeless to be re-settled into shelters. It has brought much attention to the homeless, and the need for mental health services for homeless people. We need help to provide the homeless with secure homes with mental health professionals available.

Amy Stevens    on: Jul 31    

San Jose has the clearest set of solutions.

Jessica Millar    on: Jul 31    

In all areas of San Jose, it can clearly be seen that homeless people have become a problem here.

Megan Garrett    on: Jul 31    

Great set of steps to solve san jose's problem

Samantha Vargas    on: Jul 31    

San Jose's ability to use innovation to target the problems we face with the large numbers of homeless citizens is great because of the power of introducing successful ideas

Paul Stevens    on: Jul 31    

San Jose can go through with this easily !

Nathan Daniels    on: Jul 31    

San Jose has struggled to help its large number of people in poverty in the past but with this solution plan it is clear it is headed in the right direction. Though the ideas may not be ported clearly enough, it is obvious that they are functional steps for san jose to follow in order to not only be able to further help the homeless but also increase the value of our city by enhancing the city's aesthetics. This set of guidelines will successfully improve our city.

Mark Perez    on: Jul 31    

San Jose can do this

Mark Smith    on: Jul 31    

Great plan!

James Mathews    on: Jul 31    

Many days, if you roam around the san jose, you see many homeless people in need of our help.

Richard Williams    on: Jul 31    

San Jose really needs this opportunity to be able to save many of our homeless citizens whom don't have other forms of help or support.

Tracy Lee    on: Jul 31    

Its a quite interesting plan to say san jose will be able to have many changes in innovation in order to make this happen but i believe that it all result in a success.

Linda Sanchez    on: Jul 31    

We have an increasing number of the amount of homeless people and this pitch sounds like a great solution to this problem. San Jose can do many things with this plan in order to get people better lives.

Kate Johnson    on: Jul 31    

San Jose can definitely create connections with other organizations to go through with this plan. This is a very good idea

Roseaine Renee Reza    on: Jul 31    

Outstanding to see the City of San Jose reaching out to all their residents. Seeking to make San Jose a real home for everyone !!! Way to go City government, keep our fine city moving forward.

Bridget Rigby    on: Jul 31    

Great to see the city of SJ focused on problem solving & urban innovation. That's what Silicon Valley is so known for, so it's definitely time for us all to turn those great problem-solving powers that created companies like Apple & Google towards solving more empathy-driven problems like homelessness. What's going to be the Googleplex of the city's homeless problem? Let's collectively design an innovative solution & build it together!

Katherine Martinez    on: Jul 31    

With the fund, san jose's homeless people could really benefit from the help. San Jose seems to be on the right path to saving these citizens with this plan

Jason    on: Jul 31    

You see all of these people on YouTube helping the homeless around the world on an individual basis, lets see a city stand up and do it on a much larger scale. San Jose is the city that can do this!

Kathryn Augustine    on: Jul 31    

While volunteering with the "Friends of Los Gatos Creek", we are often confronted with the problem of what to do with the people living beside the creek. Our team has been brainstorming ideas about what we can do to help. With the City of San Jose trying to get ahead of this growing concern, I hope we can all work together to create solutions. i.e. subsidized storage units for personal items so they can live in the shelters until back on their feet. Reviewing the Agnew State Hospital model for those in need of medical/psychiatric help,etc.

Karen Hennessy    on: Jul 31    

Every day I walk to and from work, only to come upon encampments spread all over the streets, and under the bridges. If we do not find a way to help these people, and clean up the streets, we will have created a human cancer. It is not my problem, it is not your problem, it is all of our problems!

Elizabeth Williams    on: Jul 31    

It is staggering to learn the scale of the problem of homelessness in the backyard of one of the richest regions in the world. Learning about the program that connects the talent in Silicon Valley with the City gives me great hope.

Emily K    on: Jul 30    

The pitch did what a video supposed to do. San Jose doesn't have all the answers - let's work together to find solutions to help the most vulnerable segment of our people.

Elise Robinson    on: Jul 30    

i saw no solutions offered just more questions. there should be a plan and directive shown.

Cassandra Nash    on: Jul 30    

The percentages used in this video are staggering for our City of San Jose. I am happy to hear that people recognize the homeless and are trying to do something about it.

Ron Lopez    on: Jul 30    

Great video that highlights one of many big issues in San Jose, and the solutions address and potential to resolve the homelessness and under employed.

   on: Jul 30    

I feel like the look of the video was great, but the "solutions" to the homeless problem in San Jose were not spelled out. I feel like San Jose is very focused on cleaning up homeless encampments so the city looks nice, but they do not have enough resources in place to help the homeless once they do. Essentially they are just causing them to move from place to place. Additionally, the cost of living in San Jose is way too high. Even if you were able to help get the homeless resources and jobs, unless they are making more than minimum wage, they still will have a hard time finding a place to live that is decent and affordable in the city. If anything, more pressure needs to be put on those who are building new apartments and condos in our city, to make housing more affordable and accessible to those with lower incomes.

Kiersten    on: Jul 30    

Very needed!

   on: Jul 30    

Great video that highlights one of many big issues in San Jose.

Suzanne    on: Jul 30    

The problem was identified but the solutions were vague. I wish they had divulged some specific 'common interests' of San Jose and the private sector. A lot of generalities and goals but the benefits weren't spelled out.

Diana Gomez    on: Jul 29    

Although San Jose is well-renowned for its corporate and technological success, our city could not be identified without discussing the harsh conditions of the poverty sector. In areas, such as The Jungle, authorities have acted unreasonably against the homeless. If we draw upon our strengths in innovation, we can tackle poverty to continue forward.

mary o'meara    on: Jul 29    

This is a very innovative model to assist in helping the homeless which should translate to a decline in the homeless numbers.

T. Hurr    on: Jul 29    

San Jose is the perfect place, where technology, leadership, and culture come together to improve the quality of live for the less fortunate. Love the pitch!

Ray Bramson    on: Jul 29    

Technology and innovation will be key contributors in dealing with the crisis of homelessness in San Jose.

Stacy Villa    on: Jul 29    


Annica Rodriguez    on: Jul 29    

This pitch seems very well thought

MIranda Galvette    on: Jul 29    

San Jose could really benefit from this

Gisela    on: Jul 29    

great plan !

Vanessa    on: Jul 29    

This will really help san Jose

Natalie    on: Jul 29    

Exciting ! good plan.

America Alcala    on: Jul 29    

Cant wait to see this plan be executed !

Indira Ruvalcaba    on: Jul 29    

Great idea !

Nicole Sturman    on: Jul 29    

Many do not realize the number of homeless living in San Jose. SVTP and the San Jose government are doing something great to help with this growing issue.

Kim Walesh    on: Jul 29    

This initiative delivers the missing pieces to improve the lives of Silicon Valley's large homeless population--private sector involvement, technology as enabler

Karla Mondragon    on: Jul 29    

We are in desperate need to help out the poor and this is the perfect way to be able to get them more stable

Cinthia Larios    on: Jul 29    

As a low-come citizen, i think it is crucial for the city of san jose to be able to help out all lower income families because i understand the struggle of getting by without any help

Eiling    on: Jul 29    

Lets see if Silicon Valley can lead the country with this initiative

Amritha Ramesh    on: Jul 29    


Gerardo Bejinez    on: Jul 29    

As one of the largest cities, i know we hold one of the highest number of homeless people roaming around our city and so we really need SVTP to help out with creating a better life for them

Evelyn Gomez    on: Jul 29    

It has been a long time since the city has given to the homeless sand this pitch is what we need in order to help them out

Juli Bautista    on: Jul 29    

San jose has been in need of improvement and i feel like this pitch is what the city needs to enhance our ability to help

Armando Guttierez    on: Jul 29    

Low-come people will highly benefit from this because of the nonprofit's attempt to increase our city's partnerships

Julissa Barron    on: Jul 29    

This is necessary in order to move forward with the improvement of san jose

Debra Figone    on: Jul 29    

Fabulous and compelling summary and insight to a critical issue for our city. Bravo to the Mayor and City Manager for bringing this proposal forward. This project has high potential for the City of San Jose and will serve as amodel for other cities. It should be funded.

Tomas    on: Jul 29    

Great project

John    on: Jul 28    

Exciting - I hope this takes off!

Lea    on: Jul 28    

If not now then when? This is a community problem requiring a community solution!

Sammy    on: Jul 28    

This was a very informative video, and it really opened my eyes to the homelessness problem that I was not aware of before this! Those statistics are staggering.

Phillippa    on: Jul 24    

Wow! I live in San Jose and though I've seen the homeless around, I never fully grasped the enormity of the problem. W

Jeremy    on: Jul 23    

Work of the City of San Jose and SVTP is a strong partnership. No surprise I think this is a great effort.

Connie Martinez    on: Jul 23    


Sandy Pooler    on: Jul 22    

While San Jose's problems seem real and its commitment sincere, the video was not clear enough about what San Jose would do. I found the descriptions laden with jargon about private sector innovation being applied to city problems, but did not get enough information about what that really means.

Howard    on: Jul 17    

Had my attention as the challenges with the homeless population was laid out...and then...surprisingly, it flatlined. At least for me... With all of the innovative, out of the box, "Good to Great" types in that region, I would have thought that private industry was already at the collective table. Clearly identified the problem, but not necessarily the way ahead.

Maria C    on: Jul 16    

Including the private sector, especially Tech, is a must since they are the ones driving the increases in the rent prices. More rent-controlled housing units are needed. I don't remember hearing anything specific to mental health which is a huge component to eradicating homelessness. Share notes with San Francisco, they have the same problem!

Ed Shikada    on: Jul 16    

Love it (no surprise)!

   on: Jul 16    

Nothing meaningful can happen without a huge comprehensive increases in wages at the lower levels within the private sector in SJ. Minimum wage has to be $15 at the very least. Housing costs have to come way down. Must build lots of housing. Otherwise, this effort will be worthless.

   on: Jul 15    

Connected very well with the individuals and demonstrated that they understood the goals.

SS    on: Jul 15    

Should win battle with five other cities (Denver might make #2). Only large city w.Denver I trust, to keep promises and keep its city free of illegal public spaces debris.

Mike B    on: Jul 14    

This presentation started out very well but got off the mark about half way when it switched from helping the homeless to some type of philosophy change in working with the private sector. but wish you luck.

Doug    on: Jul 14    

Very innovative approach in a city that truly has the potential to make a difference and set an example for others to follow.

   on: Jul 14    

San Jose should look at Phhiladelphia's program.

ANON    on: Jul 14    

Fantastic concept - setting up various One-Stop Shops for homeless and those needing services would be most beneficial. Assisting those that are homeless but cannot meet the requirements for programs, i.e. being drug free, sober, etc. will be the toughest issue you will face.

Mike Rogers    on: Jul 7    

Very convincing -- amazing part of this is the opportunity there exists for success!

Kari Davidson    on: Jul 7    

Coordinated efforts make the most impact...and I'm hopeful private sector partners will be able to deliver the much needed services ASAP? Great innovation...great work!

Amardeep    on: Jul 2    

This would be an incredible opportunity to bring sectors together and support this work!

Sal Alvarez    on: Jul 2    

Homelessness and services for our low-income residents is a community problem that requires a Silicon Valley community response.

Jeff Harris    on: Jul 1    

San Jose's pitch is both innovative and impactful!

Teresa    on: Jul 1    

So much work to do!!!

Kiran    on: Jul 1    

it is a story about the underbelly of the shining silicon valley. and it is a story of hope! thank you for the work.