San Jose State University announces more than $3 million in funding to tackle homelessness

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose State University has announced millions in funding to help the staff and students who are facing homelessness.

SJSU President Mary Papazian announced the plan, "We have exciting news to share with you, help with affordable housing is on the way."

City leaders including Mayor Sam Liccardo, as well as students, were in attendance at the announcement. Last year, a number of rallies were held on campus criticizing the university for its inaction on student homelessness.

"I would describe this as a housing crisis honestly, that shows by the 53,000 students in the SJSU system that are homeless," said Briena Brown with the Student Homeless Alliance at SJSU.

A recent California State University report showed that San Jose State has the highest rate of student homelessness in its system at 13 percent.

Papazian called the plan a "comprehensive housing solution."

Some of the solutions include:

  • More than $3 million in grants over 18 months to address basic needs insecurity


  • The expansion of a rapid re-housing and rental assistance program


  • 12 or more emergency beds for a Fall 2020 pilot program


  • The Alquist building, just one block from the university, is being slated for a mixed-use housing project that will include retail and office spaces, as well as more than 800 below-market rental units. Another brand new space in the university is planned for Fall 2020, dedicated to helping students and staff with resources.

    A satellite office for the Bill Wilson Center will be housed in the brand new space. Last Fall, the Bill Wilson Center made their own announcement to house 100 students in 100 days. They are on target to exceed the goal by February.

    RELATED: Santa Clara County leaders aim to house 100 homeless youth in 100 days

    Mayor Sam Liccardo and other homeless advocates praised the Papazian's announcement.

    "It was her effort to bring so many of us together, to push together," Liccardo said.

    "We stand for those students who can't speak for themselves," added Brown, whose team at the Student Homeless Alliance, worked for months with the university's leadership.

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