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Mon Dec 14, 2015, 03:02 PM

Dispossesed in the Land of Dreams by Monica Potts

The New Republic by Monica Potts

Dispossesed in the Land of Dreams:
Those left behind by Silicon Valley’s technology boom struggle to stay in the place they call home.
December 13, 2015

A majority of the homeless population in Palo Alto—93 percent—ends up sleeping outside or in their cars. In part, that’s because Palo Alto, a technology boomtown that boasts a per capita income well over twice the average for California, has almost no shelter space: For the city’s homeless population, estimated to be at least 157, there are just 15 beds that rotate among city churches through a shelter program called Hotel de Zink; a charity organizes a loose network of 130 spare rooms, regular people motivated to offer up their homes only by neighborly goodwill. The lack of shelter space in Palo Alto—and more broadly in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, which comprise the peninsula south of San Francisco and around San Jose—is unusual for an area of its size and population. A 2013 census showed Santa Clara County having more than 7,000 homeless people, the fifth-highest homeless population per capita in the country and among the highest populations sleeping outside or in unsuitable shelters like vehicles.

San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area are gentrifying rapidly—especially with the most recent Silicon Valley surge in social media companies, though the trend stretches back decades—leading to a cascade of displacement of the region’s poor, working class, and ethnic and racial minorities. In San Francisco itself, currently the city with the most expensive housing market in the country, rents increased 13.5 percent in 2014 from the year before, leading more people to the middle-class suburbs. As real estate prices rise in places like Palo Alto, the middle class has begun to buy homes in the exurbs of the Central Valley, displacing farmworkers there.


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Reply Dispossesed in the Land of Dreams by Monica Potts (Original post)
Chitown Kev Dec 2015 OP
2naSalit Dec 2015 #1

Response to Chitown Kev (Original post)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 03:17 PM

1. My nephew and

His GF moved into a large house with several other adults in a sort of collective in order to be able to pay the bills and live in San Jose. My niece and her husband have to have two incomes just to have a two bedroom apartment in Oakland... I moved from San Diego a long time ago and I was facing $700/month rent + utilities to have a bedroom in someone else's apartment that was the size of my closet here in this little cabin in the woods where I pay less than half that with utilities included. Good thing I don't care for city life, couldn't afford it if I did.

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