FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPT. 17, 2015
CONTACT: Maureen Damrel
San Jose Project Manager, Downtown Streets Team
PH: (408) 571-9140| Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ADOBE, KAISER PERMANENTE SOUTH BAY, PINGER AND SUNPOWER JOIN ERNST & YOUNG LLP, WELLS FARGO AND TIVO TO SPONSOR GATEWAY BEAUTIFICATION IN DOWNTOWN SAN JOSE, WITH HELP FROM HOMELESS PEOPLE, A PROJECT OF MAYOR LICCARDO
SAN JOSE, CALIF. — Adobe, Kaiser Permanente South Bay, Pinger and SunPower are each sponsoring the beautification of a gateway, or freeway ramp, into downtown San Jose, a project headed by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo in an effort to not only make downtown San Jose a welcoming place, but to also help homeless people rebuild their lives. Mayor Liccardo will speak at the press event taking place Monday, September 21 from 12-1 p.m. at Highway 87 underpass on West San Fernando Street.
The Gateways Project, a partnership between nonprofit Downtown Streets Team (DST) and the City of San Jose, is more than a beautification project. It’s also about sharing social responsibility in the fight to end homelessness. These new sponsors join Ernst & Young LLP, Wells Fargo and TiVo – the original three companies that sponsored gateways in October of last year, when the project launched.
“By engaging with homeless residing in our city,” stated Mayor Liccardo, “we are able to effectively employ the proven ‘work-first’ model by asking individuals to clean up the very streets they live on. Once engaged in this work, Streets Team offers an opportunity for support, housing, and a path to future employment.”
Each gateway is marked by a bright blue sign, which can be spotted at the on ramps. From 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 – 5 p.m. homeless volunteers can be easily spotted in downtown San Jose wearing their bright yellow DST shirts. At first glance many people think they are court ordered to clean – but they are volunteers who have made the choice to work hard to rebuild their lives, while making a positive impact on their community.
DST provides the resources for homeless people to reach their goals – including help with finding housing and employment. The nonprofit builds partnerships with cities to beautify neighborhoods, creeks and downtown streets and the homeless men and women volunteer on these projects. In return they receive a basic needs stipend, case management and employment resources. DST’s model is rebuilding lives while also beautifying the community. To date the nonprofit has housed 454 homeless and found permanent employment for 363 people. DST also serves Palo Alto, San Rafael and Sunnyvale, with more cities to come.