South Bay program working to house homeless vets

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- For more than 500 vets in the South Bay, Veterans Day is also an early Thanksgiving who have been placed in housing through a program focused on matching landlords with homeless vets.

There is nothing more symbolic than Veterans Day to see Nicolas Jaramillo, a 12 year army vet, holding keys. "July 23rd, I was homeless. Today I'm housed," said Jaramillo.

Jaramillo is the 510th homeless vet in Santa Clara County to get housing, one year after San Jose and the county launched a program called All The Way Home.

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"But this is just the beginning because now the real journey begins, staying focused, going to school, continue working," explained Jaramillo.

Some of the landlords renting to vets are vets themselves.
"I'm doing this because I am my brother's keeper, and I am a member of the Armed Forces, and I think it's something I had the opportunity and I've been blessed. So why not share that blessing?" said Ray Watts, a landlord.

And while 510 is an impressive figure, there are still more than 6,000 people who are homeless veterans living in Santa Clara County
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Mayor Sam Liccardo believes the success of housing vets will lead to a wider program. While 510 out of 700 vets have been placed, the vets challenge isn't over.
"Every month there are more veterans who are being pushed out on the street because of high housing costs, and so this is going to be an effort that we're going to have to continue to pursue," he said.

Even the President of the Board of Supervisors Dave Cortese has rented out a room to a vet.

"It's not entirely magnanimous. You rent to a veteran; you get rent. That room would have been sitting empty. And I think there's so many people that have 4, 5 bedroom houses here in the suburbs in San Jose and Silicon Valley that can easily rent one of their rooms to a veteran," said Cortese.

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