Providing 'hope' for the homeless in San Jose

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Healthcare with dignity is at the heart of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center's Hope Clinic, which provides primary care, mental health, and social services to people who have or are experiencing homelessness.

"The medical people, the social workers, all of them... they've all helped me tremendously," said Cupertino resident David Webb.

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Webb recently found housing after being homeless for nearly nine years, and was connected to the clinic through his permanent supportive housing community in Cupertino.

Since opening six months ago, only one of the clinic's 358 patients have returned to the streets.

"I feel really lucky to be able to do this work every day," said Christy McCurdy, one of the clinic's resident nurses. "I go home feeling like I really helped people in my community."

The clinic is partnership between Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and the County of Santa Clara's Behavioral Health Services, Social Services and the Office of Supportive Housing.

"Just having the flexibility... that kind of room to just take care of patients the way that we would really want to and to know that there's a county here connecting all of these services... that we actually could do this," said clinic medical director Huy Ngo, M.D., who grew up in San Jose and experienced homelessness as a child.

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Much of the Bay Area has shifted toward a "housing first" approach, which supporters say, when paired with supportive services, sets the homeless up for greater stability and success.

Second Street Studios in San Jose, the region's largest permanent supportive housing development for formerly homeless people, opened in August.

Last month, residents started moving into a similar project called Villas on the Park. The county has thousands of additional units in the pipeline.
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