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HeadlinesPHOTOS: Milpitas sleep-out at City Hall on February 28

PHOTOS: Milpitas sleep-out at City Hall on February 28

On February 28, 2022, Councilmember Karina Dominguez and other community members set up tents to spend the night in front of City Hall. Their intention was to show support for the unhoused residents of Milpitas the night before City Council voted on continuing to fund the County’s HEAT program and how to work with recommendations from the City’s Homelessness Task Force.

 

“The reality is that we need three votes to save these assessments. And these assessments are critical to our community,” said Councilmember Dominguez, who organized last night’s event. “So critical that I don’t know what we’re going to do if these assessments get defunded. Because that is the only outlet that our homeless have to get homes here in Silicon Valley.” Dominguez was referring to the assessments that the County’s HEAT team have been providing in the past year. The City had contracted with them for $200,000 for the year to assess unhoused residents, so that these residents can receive access to housing and other resources. The City of Milpitas expects that to continue with a second year of funding, the total cost will be $100,000. At the last Council meeting, Mayor Rich Tran stated that he no longer thought the City should fund the County’s program.

 

Councilmember Anthony Phan (left), President of the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP Bob Nuñez (center), and Advocate/Grassroots Organizer Loreto Dimaandal (right). Councilmember Phan spoke of how he has sat on the Council for 6 years and has had to fight on issues of housing: “I’ve sat through it all when the mayor and his allies threatened to sue the state of California, threatened to sue the County of Santa Clara to stop housing, to stop supportive services for our unhoused,” said Phan “He’s declared war against the unhoused. And it’s so important that you are all here today, and that you keep showing up.”

 

Yolie Garcia and Lisa Moreno from HOPE 4 the Unhoused (H4U) were also part of the event. They both stayed overnight as well. H4U has worked tirelessly in the community to help provide meals, food stamps, bus passes, case management, and other assistance to the unhoused community. “We try to go out and find out what their needs are and help them as much as we can,” said Garcia. She also added, “We worry and care about everyone in our community.”

 

 

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