SAN JOSE, Calif. - It's been years in the making and now San Jose's first tiny home community officially opened on Thursday, complete with security and resident services.
Bicycle racks hang by the doors and flowers line the walkways at The Maybury Bridge Housing Project. Located at 1408 Maybury Rd. in the city's northeast corner, the atmosphere is intended to make it feel like home.
Both Governor Gavin Newsom and Mayor Sam Liccardo were on hand to tour the units that took years to conceive and thousands of volunteer hours to build. Now residents have moved off the streets and into the units.
Newsom said addressing homelessness needs to be a top priority.
"I'm in for the long haul. We own this. We're not pointing fingers anymore. We own this," said Newsom. He said public projects like this are just the beginning. "The work that was done her can quickly be replicated at half the time elsewhere, so I could not be more enthusiastic about where we're going to be in two or three years."
The tiny homes are meant to be temporary. Residents will stay only about 60 days or until they can get into permanent housing.
"This is intended to have individuals become acclimated to being part of a community, to learning how to take care of their units, building independent living skills," said Beatriz Ramos with HomeFirst, a San Jose nonprofit that seeks to house the homeless.
"We need to get them housed safely and this is the kind of place where they can be until that apartment opens," Mayor Liccardo said.
Though people are still moving in, at least one resident was already moving out. She already found a permanent place nearby.
"It's going really, really well. We're excited to see positive results," Ramos said.
So far nine people have moved in. The hope is to fill all 40 spots in the coming weeks. A second site is already in the works.