New San Jose supportive housing complex changes lives of formerly unhoused seniors

Zach Fuentes Image
Thursday, January 11, 2024
SJ housing complex changes lives of formerly unhoused seniors
PATH Villas at 4th Street, a 94-unit permanent supportive housing complex in San Jose has given formerly unhoused seniors a new home.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A South Bay project years in the making is now a reality. PATH Villas at 4th Street, a 94-unit permanent supportive housing complex in San Jose has given formerly unhoused seniors a new home.

It's located on North 4th Street at East Younger Avenue.

For Patti Fradenburg, it's been a long journey to get to her new home after being unhoused for five years.

But after some tough challenges, she was connected to services that led her to PATH Villas at 4th Street.

"When I walked through that door I burst into tears," she said. "I did, I literally burst into tears because I never imagined, I never dreamed that this would be my home."

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PATH Villas in San Jose, a supportive housing site for people 55 or older who were formally homeless, hosted a holiday dinner for its residents.

The newly-built affordable housing community celebrated its grand opening Wednesday. The 94 units are for seniors who were unhoused.

"That's one of the largest growing populations of homelessness, and it just, it's heartbreaking," Jennifer Hark Dietz, PATH CEO said, "It's our grandparents, it's soon to be our parents."

The development broke ground in August of 2021.

The services at the site are provided by the nonprofit, PATH Ventures.

"A lot of wraparound services, that means fun things too like bingo on Thursday nights or a movie night, but bringing people together so that they create a sense of community and belonging," Hark Dietz said.

The project received funds from sources like voter-approved Measure A and private partners.

Each resident who moves in is referred by the county's Office of Supportive Housing.

Their rent is subsidized by the housing authority based on income.

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San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan said it's an example of how to get people off the streets and also a reminder.

"When you have seniors who can be stably housed, but just can't find affordable housing, it's a clear signal that government needs to do more to ensure that we are producing, the market is producing that kind of affordable housing," Mahan said.

Though Wednesday's grand opening is considered a celebration, those involved say their overall work is far from finished.

"We have so many other people with so many other needs," said Noni Ramos, CEO with Housing Trust Silicon Valley. "And so to have more support, to have more public sector partnership with the private sector, we (also) have some really important measures that are coming up"

While that work is done, residents like Fradenburg aren't taking one moment in their new homes for granted.

"You have no idea," Fradenburg said. "The dignity you give back to people when you give them their own roof, their own shower."

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