While many were still sleeping this morning, a group of nearly 200 volunteers gathered in San Jose to kick off an ambitious project.
The group was getting ready to go out into Campbell, Los Gatos and parts of San Jose to survey homeless people on the streets, in their encampments and homes as part of Housing 1,000 SV, an effort to find permanent housing for 1,000 chronically homeless people in Santa Clara County by June 2013.
According to the organization's website, there are approximately 7,000 homeless people living within the county. Of these, there are about 2,000 that are chronically homeless–they have not had a home in more than a year.
Starting at 4:00 a.m. today and going through June 29, a group of approximately 500 community and civic leader volunteers will go out before dawn to survey and register the homeless individuals living in San Jose, Campbell, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Milpitas, Mountain View, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Saratoga, Cupertino, Los Gatos and Monte Sereno.
The survey is designed to identify chronically homeless people who are most vulnerable to an early death. It asks for information such as name and date of birth, how long the individual has been homeless, and if they have any health issues associated with early mortality.
Along with the survey, a photo of each individual, with their permission, is taken as well as the location of where they are living in order to match them up with the available appropriate services.
The South County Registry week, which includes Gilroy, San Martin and Morgan Hill, will take place July 20-22.
In Campbell, the team of volunteers drove around city streets, went to several encampments along the Los Gatos Creek Trail, under Highway 17 and Bascom Avenue, says Bob Dolci, Santa Clara County Homeless Concern Coordinator. He and Campbell Police Department Officer Eric Pearson were part of the team surveying the homeless in the Orchard City.
Other locations they went to this morning included the area near Camden Avenue and the creek there, Campisi Way, near the light rail tracks and the area around the Marriott.
"The purpose is to establish a registry of people who are most vulnerable," says Bob Dolci, Santa Clara County Homeless Concern Coordinator. "To score these people according to healthy issues and time of homelessness and their vulnerability."