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Countywide System Prevents Homelessness for 95% of the 1,300 Households / 4,000 Residents Served in the Past 2.5 Years

Despite Promising Results, the Santa Clara County Homelessness Prevention System Only Has Funding to Serve 35% of Eligible Households Seeking Assistance

Post Date:02/20/2020

Media Contacts:

David Low, Destination: Home - 408-499-8328 or

Scott Strickland, Office of Supervisor Chavez - 408-299-5020 or

Rachel Davis, Office of Mayor LIccardo - 408-535-4857 or


San José, CA - Thanks to a unique partnership between local governments, private funders and non-profit organizations, the Santa Clara County Homelessness Prevention System has helped prevent homelessness for 95% of the at-risk households it has served over the past two-and-a-half years - offering a promising strategy for addressing Silicon Valley’s growing homelessness crisis.

The countywide Homelessness Prevention System provides temporary financial assistance, legal support and other services to families and individuals at imminent risk of homelessness. Since the system was launched in 2017:

  • The system has served 1,338 households which collectively included 3,957 individuals.

  • The average household received $4,106 in direct financial assistance.

  • 95% of households remained stably housed while receiving assistance.

  • Only 8% of households became homeless in the 12 months after leaving the program.

Despite these promising results, the system only had the financial resources to serve 35% of the eligible households who sought assistance in 2019, leading local elected leaders to call for additional funding to expand the system.

“More than 6,000 residents in San José are housing-insufficient - experiencing the homelessness crisis first-hand. Tools like the Homeless Prevention System are critical to finding innovative solutions,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo. “The program’s success with preventative services and emergency financial resources is promising, and we’ll continue to engage partners to further its reach as we establish more affordable, permanent-supportive housing for our vulnerable neighbors.”

“We must prevent families from slipping into homelessness,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez. “This new program is already a proven success – having kept over a thousand families off the street.”

View the Homelessness Prevention System Fact Sheet

A unique system designed to assist our most vulnerable families and individuals

The Homelessness Prevention System prioritizes those at the greatest risk of homelessness, using a standardized assessment to evaluate each household’s risk and the level of assistance needed to stay housed. Among the characteristics of these at-risk households:

  • 72% include children; 44% are single parent households.

  • 84% are extremely low income (earning less than 30% of the area’s median income).

  • 77% are severely rent burdened (spending more than ½ of their income on rent).

  • Income / job loss was the top-cited reason for needing assistance.

The Homelessness Prevention System operates under a unique public-private partnership model. Of the $28 million in funding raised to-date, about ½ has come from the government (including the State of California, County of Santa Clara, and Cities of San José, Santa Clara and Morgan Hill), and ½ has come from the private sector (including major grants from Apple, Cisco, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation and In addition, the system is administered by Destination:Home, Sacred Heart Community Service and more than a dozen other non-profits, which ensures residents can access prevention assistance and services at locations throughout the county.

“California is facing a homelessness crisis; for every one person housed, three more fall into homelessness,” said California State Senator Jim Beall. “It is time to be smarter and more strategic about our investments and housing policies. A city-state partnership for production must be part of the solution with an on-going state fund to help local communities meet the growing demands. Legislation like SB 795 prioritizes people by creating on-going state funding to help local communities quickly build affordable housing.”

Expanding prevention strategies to meet the growing crisis

Local and state leaders are increasingly looking to homelessness prevention strategies to help address the growing number of people who are falling into homelessness for the very first time.Here, in Santa Clara County, for every one family or individual we connect to housing, two-to-three more are becoming homeless for the first time.

“Over the past five years, our Supportive Housing System has housed more than 14,000 homeless individuals in our community - yet the crisis continues to grow because even more people are being pushed out of their homes,” said Jennifer Loving, CEO of Destination: Home. “To truly solve this crisis, we must double-down on both permanent housing and prevention.” 

While Destination: Home and its partners continue to expand capacity in the Homelessness Prevention System, significantly more funding is required to scale the system to meet the actual need in the community. Among the potential sources of funding that could be leveraged:                                         

  • Destination: Home is leading a fundraising campaign to secure additional funds from local corporations and philanthropic organizations.
  • The State Legislature will be considering various spending proposals to address homelessness as part of their upcoming budget deliberations.          
  • San José residents will vote on Measure E on March 3. The City Council has adopted a spending plan that would dedicate 10% of Measure E funds to homelessness prevention. 

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