Fighting Homelessness in Silicon Valley

Mar 27, 2019 | by The Salvation Army

It’s no secret that homelessness is a huge problem in the Bay Area. And with some of the most expensive rents in the entire United States, Silicon Valley offers a new perspective on homelessness.

The people living without homes in our community are much more than just stereotypes. They are hardworking parents, single moms, college graduates, senior citizens who have spent their lives in the Bay Area, veterans, and even students. In fact, The Mercury News recently cited a report from California State University which claims that more than 4,000 students (about 13 percent of those enrolled) “have found themselves homeless in the last year.” 

Clearly, homelessness affects people of various races, professions, and educational backgrounds.

How We’re Sheltering Families & Individuals

The Salvation Army Silicon Valley has been working to end homelessness since we first opened our doors in the Bay Area over 100 years ago. Today we offer a variety of programs to help those who are homeless. 

Emmanuel House, our San Jose shelter, provides men with a safe place to eat, sleep, and shower at no cost. Men who have a strong desire to see their lives rebuilt by attaining full-time employment can become job search volunteers and help with shelter maintenance.

Our Family Services team provides rent assistance and utility assistance to people in need. Many families are one accident or unexpected hiccup from being homeless. As Nia’s story perfectly shows, when a car breaks unexpectedly or a prolonged sickness results in lost wages, this often creates the perfect storm for missing rent and losing their home.

Listen to these quotes from individuals and families who are receiving rental assistance and case management services:

“If I didn’t receive the help, I would probably end up homeless again, in jail, or dead.” –Former Marine 

“My daughter and I can’t go back into a shelter. She’s only seven and four years of her life have been spent in shelters. I’ve been doing everything right, I just need the help right now.” –Hardworking Single Mom

How You Can Help

To partner with us to end homelessness in Silicon Valley, please donate or consider giving your time to the cause as a volunteer. We have a variety of positions for individuals and groups. In 2018, we reached more than half a million Bay Area residents.

Get Involved

Subscribe to receive more stories, directly in your inbox!


A gift to The Salvation Army helps someone in your community.

Give Now



Do Good in your community

Find Worship

Join us throughout the week for worship, fellowship, Bible study, meals, community service and fun.

Related Content