Remarkable Gilroy Project

It’s a remarkable project, really. The fact that a community the
size of Gilroy is building a transitional center for the homeless
speaks volumes about the nature of our town.
It’s a remarkable project, really. The fact that a community the size of Gilroy is building a transitional center for the homeless speaks volumes about the nature of our town.

The recent announcement of the HomeAid donation to Emergency Housing Consortium LifeBuilders that will finish the Transitional Center certainly deserves a hearty cheer. We applaud this unique partnership between the private sector and the non-profit organization that will keep construction of the Transitional Center on schedule. For many in Gilroy, it’s been a long wait.

EHC’s LifeBuilders partnership with HomeAid, a group of home builders that provides in-kind labor and materials for the construction of affordable housing projects, is an extraordinary achievement for any community. But it’s particularly impressive for Gilroy because private money for donations in South County is scarce.

We especially like the partnership because it can serve as a model for future collaborations in not only constructing affordable housing, but also for offering supportive services. Working with other trade organizations in this way may be one answer to filling the kinds of service gaps we face, particularly here in South County.

We also applaud the dedication and tenacity of the members of the Gilroy Homeless Task Force. It’s not easy to be the ones on the front lines during a very tough fight to get the project approved, and then relegated to the background and in the dark about progress while EHC LifeBuilders went about the business of trying to find the money to get the project built. However, that they continued to work at the armory year after year without giving up hope for the year-round shelter is a true testament to all that is good about volunteerism in Gilroy.

While this is a great achievement for Gilroy, with the highest number of homeless people per capita in the county, will finally have its year round shelter next year, we must remember that shelter and support are only part of the solution. We must have something for the Gilroy folks who stay at the Transitional Center to which they can transition. The job of ending homelessness in Gilroy is made easier with the year-round shelter, but it is not solved completely. We need comprehensive housing solutions that don’t simply provide more housing, but specifically, more housing that is affordable to people with low incomes, and extremely low incomes.

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