Displacement issues explained during on-campus event
The Santa Clara
May 2, 2019
The growing problems of homelessness displacement and
mortality in Santa Clara County were discussed at a talk held
Monday by assistant professor Jaimie Chang in the California
Chang was a part of a team that explored these issues, along
with other faculty and Santa Clara alumni.
The study shown focused on the growing “invisibility” of
homeless people in the county due to the lack of large encampments, such as “The Jungle” in downtown San Jose, which was
torn down in late 2014.
However, research was seen to be a challenging topic for
“The question of invisibility is a very complex question
because there is no data on it, so how do we measure this
problem?” Chang said.
Because of this, the team conducted research relying on the
locations of bodies of deceased homeless people.
“We created a methodology, we may be the first to publish
data that looks like this,” Chang said.
These findings were discovered by use of Google Maps
through a calculated walkability score. This score showed
how likely it was that a bystander walked by the homeless to
see where the homeless population was going.
Because of this continual invisibility and displacement in
a county 30 times larger than that of San Francisco, common
health concerns are neglected.
The top three causes of death as a result of homelessness
were found to be substance use, illness or disease, and injury
With the combination of factors such as sudden displacement and an inability to gain medical help, the death toll in
the country has tripled in the last couple years.
Despite these growing concerns that were discovered by the
team’s findings, the city has continued to neglect the growing
problem of homeless displacement, as expressed by Chang.
“We’re finding that we see this problem continue because
the county isn’t spending any money on shelters,” Chang said.
While the problem of homelessness continues, studies here
on campus are attempting to identify and potentially provide
solutions to this problem.
Contact Anthony Alegrete at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408)