Homelessness is increasing in Silicon Valley even as the area mints more and more millionaires, reports television journalist Bill Moyers.
In a segment of his program Moyers & Company (which airs regularly on KQED), Moyers’ crew interviews Associated Press reporter Martha Mendoza, several homeless residents of the area, and social service providers.
The area added jobs for engineers and executives, but eliminated blue-collar positions and didn’t build enough housing for everyone who wanted to live there, Mendoza says in the show.
“We have very high income, the highest in the nation,” agrees Russell Hancock, CEO of Joint Ventures Silicon Valley. “We also have very low. We’ve got both. And what’s actually happening right now is a hollowing out in the middle. Now, this is a national phenomenon, but it seems to be particularly acute in Silicon Valley.”
Santa Clara County recently launched an effort to find permanent housing for homeless people, KQED’s Peter Jon Shuler reported last month.
The focus is not managing homelessness through emergency shelters and transitional housing — that’s the old model. [Hilary] Barroga says the new goal is to find the most vulnerable people living on the streets and get them into permanent housing.