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Sample Letter 1

Dear Mayor, Councilmembers and City Manager;

I oppose the current budget proposal using the Bascom Library Community Center as congregate housing for unhoused San Jose residents through December 31, 2020. This would be an extension of the Bascom Overnight Warming Location (OWL).

This represents an inappropriate use of tax dollars.

  • Housing the current 22 residents who sleep there at night and the 9 residents who are on site during the day requires multiple staff members and security to be onsite 24-hours per day.
  • The use of the facility for this purpose means it is no longer available for rentals or community use. Because the OWL takes up a large proportion of the site, there is not space to program other activities. This leaves the community without access.
  • There are congregate facilities for unhoused residents that are currently underutilized. OWL clients can be transferred to other sites or can be transported as needed. This reduces costs and provides a broader array of services for these clients.

This proposal represents reduction of service to low income and communities of color, an equity issue that needs to be addressed.

  • The Bascom site was developed in part because the city recognized as underserved by the government and incorporated as part of the San Jose Strong Neighborhoods Initiative more than 20 years ago. The site was part of mitigation for lack of services in a community with no parks, recreation sites, playgrounds or public amenities. It is the city’s only major public site developed in that time.
  • The surrounding community served by the site is not the wealthy side of the district. This site serves low income, immigrant and communities of color. The multi-family units in the service area are primarily older, with no yards or recreation capability.
  • There are no other nearby facilities that can easily be reached by foot or transit.

I respectfully request that the clients be transferred to other congregate sites run by the city and county. I also request that the Bascom site be opened up in parallel and with the same services enjoyed by the rest of the city. It is not financially responsible or equitable that the facility be used to serve so few at such a high cost.


Sample Letter 2

Using the Bascom site is a poor use of taxpayer dollars. Please move the OWL clients to hotels or other accommodations. Move the staff to a site where they can be more effective. It is costing too much money to provide accommodations for too few people. 


Sample Letter 3

Our family has waited for the Bascom site to re-open. This cannot happen if the OWL is still there. While the clients of the OWL were accepted and welcomed, it is time to open the facility to the families who need the library and community center. We were promised the facility would be shared with the OWL program. If the OWL program stays, it will reduce the space available to the neighborhoods.