Bill Wilson Center Events Promote National Homeless & Runaway Prevention Month

November is National Homeless & Runaway Prevention Month and Santa Clara County is not immune to the reality of this issue. You can make a difference this month by taking an active role at a pair of National Homeless & Runaway Prevention Month events in the South Bay.

Housing Plan Needs Options for Low-Income Youth

The city’s commitment to urbanizing our communities should be applauded, but the means to house San Jose’s most vulnerable populations must not be overlooked.

County, Nonprofits Take Steps to Help Children in Border Crisis

The number of unaccompanied immigrant minors crossing into the United States has increased nearly five times over during the last three years. On Tuesday, the county Board of Supervisors voted to further explore ways to help these children.

Leaders Should Learn About the Lives, Challenges of the Homeless

Foster care youth advocate Sparky Harlan invites lawmakers and leaders to learn firsthand from people who experience homelessness.

Santa Clara County Needs More Women in Office

Santa Clara County was once the nation’s capital for electing women into office. But a look at our current political landscape shows successful female candidates have become scarcer.

Learning from the Brenden Tiggs Tragedy

On Sunday, Brenden Tiggs, an 18-year-old African American student at San Jose State, committed suicide in his dorm room. According to local media, his dad did not believe the coroner’s ruling, because his son was doing well and seemed happy. While it’s a topic we often don’t like to talk about, suicide rates for young men in the United States are especially troubling.

A Wishlist for Addressing Youth Homelessness in Santa Clara County

The beginning of the New Year is a time for resolutions and “Top Ten” wishlists. This is my Bill Wilson Center wish list for addressing some of the major issues around homelessness for our youth.

Help Homeless Youth during the Holidays

Stories on the plight of the homeless during the recent cold weather have focused on adults living in encampments. But in San Jose there is another homeless population that rarely gets any attention:  homeless college students. CNN Money wrote about a homeless college student who was turned out of her Midwest school during winter break. Where do homeless students living in local college dorms go during winter break?

Youth Homelessness a Growing Problem in San Jose, Santa Clara County

A point-in-time count on the number of homeless individuals and families in San Jose and Santa Clara County was completed earlier this year. Santa Clara County had 1,200 homeless youth under age 25—either in homeless shelters or on the street. This was more than the number counted for San Francisco during the same time. It is hard to believe that we have more homeless youth and young adults than San Francisco, but the numbers don’t lie.

Human Trafficking Sweep Shows Communities Must Come Together

Operation Cross Country, a three-day nationwide enforcement campaign by the FBI focusing on underage victims of sex trafficking, recently concluded with the rescue of 105 sexually exploited children and the arrests of 150 pimps and other individuals. In the Bay Area, 12 children were rescued from pimps. While the issue is not new for runaway programs, aggressive pimps going after these young people is now more common. Vulnerable youth, especially those on the run, are often preyed upon by pimps. Studies show that runaways are often identified and targeted by pimps within 48 hours of hitting the streets. Runaway programs need to learn how keep young people safe and must work with local law enforcement when victims seek help from runaway shelters.