Home for the Homeless in Fremont
By: Jack Conner
Fremont is a city on the rise. The population is growing, there are numerous new building complexes being built, and Downtown Fremont is becoming a major cultural hub for the city. However, with all this new growth and people coming into the city, the homeless population in Fremont is seeing a major increase in numbers, by nearly 27% over the past two years. This has led to the Fremont City Council proposing a Homeless Navigation Center (HNC), a shelter for up to 45 people at a time that would provide job opportunities along with food and water, with the main goal being getting those that are homeless in Fremont on the path to getting a home. This idea was widely supported among most Fremont residents, but there were conflicting ideas about where the HNC should be located.
The first idea for the location was an area on Decoto Road. This location, however, was heavily opposed to, as there were numerous reasons given by local citizens to use a different location. One of these reasons was that the area was close to several housing and school complexes, which parents were worried might endanger their kids. Several frightened residents said they were scared for their children's safety, as nearly half of the homeless population in Fremont is addicted to either drugs, alcohol, or both. Besides just being a potential threat to children's safety, the Decoto location was also in an unsafe area for the homeless themselves.Decoto Road is an extremely dangerous road, as cars typically zoom by on their way to or back from work. This would cause potential harm for the HNC residents and might make transportation for them even more difficult.
The other location is in an area behind City Hall in Downtown Fremont. This location, while having copious supporters and reasons to support it, was still opposed by many Fremont citizens. One citizen said that creating an HNC in downtown Fremont would bring a negative energy to the surrounding area, harming local businesses and preventing further growth in the downtown area. Even though this is a valid point, the reasons supporting the City Hall location are even more convincing. The location is close to numerous workplaces to help provide the homeless with an income, along with medical facilities and other resources to help get the homeless off the streets.
The location was decided upon on September 10th, and was revealed to be behind the City Hall. This decision was the best possible solution, since almost everyone who attended any of the city council meetings agreed that an HNC needed to be constructed. Construction on the project should be complete by the mid-2020s, and will cost approximately $7.7 million to build and operate for a year. Over the course of that year, at least 90 homeless people in Fremont will be provided with shelter and resources to get off the streets. Fremont is hoping to see the same success with this project as the HNC built at Berkley Center, which saw an 82% success rate for helping the homeless get homes. This is the first step in the right direction for Fremont to help the homeless in the city, and should be a major success.