The Community Homeless Alliance Ministry and Serve the People San Jose will be hosting a news conference Wednesday protesting what they say is the recent discovery of a record number of homeless deaths in the county -- 158 -- since Dec. 1, 2017.
According to Pastor Scott Wagers of CHAM, the all-time high number increased over the previous record of 135 deaths that was set in the same timeframe between 2016 and 2017. Wagers said the recent record is a significant increase over the 1999 count of 33 homeless deaths.
"I was shocked when I heard it," Wagers said. "I thought it might have gone down."
Wagers points to what he considers a huge housing shortage coupled with high rents that have led to what he said is an out-of-control death rate.
"The rate at which they build housing isn't enough," he said.
The news conference will be held at 10:30 a.m. on one of the properties that Google recently purchased for its proposed downtown San Jose Googleplex, at 510 W. San Fernando St.
"If you want to do something, do something for the homeless," said Wagers of the recent sale of the land to the tech giant.