Donner Lofts: Crime plagues San Jose’s new affordable housing project

San Jose police say they were called to Donner Lofts 153 times in one year.

Donner Lofts has 20 units reserved for the chronically homeless, who often congregate at nearby St. James Park. But many of its other units are occupied by the mentally afflicted or by substance abusers who use the array of social services offered to residents.

It’s a combustible mix. If I’ve learned anything about projects of this sort, it’s that they depend heavily on the resident managers — how they enforce the rules, how they seek help for residents, how they deal with crisis. Not all managers or social workers are equal.

There’s an important neighborhood component to this, too: The area around Fourth and St. John — or Fifth and St. John — has become rougher over the last few years. It can be an uncomfortable place to walk alone in the evening, particularly if you’re a woman.

Sometimes I wonder if these people are capable of living by themselves. At some point we need to stop being touchy feely and put them into institutions, where they can get more and better help.

It probably would help if your fabulous city would pay men/women in blue a decent, comparable salary/benefits so that, yeah, there is a decent sized police force to address situations like this…

Are you saying SJ should hike taxes to level of SF?

But seriously we can’t expect police to be social workers or psychiatrists. These people need more help than just law enforcement to shut them up.

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I have no idea why we think it’s a good idea to put these people in a densely populated area. These types of facilities should be in rural areas to minimize risk to the public.

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Long long long time ago, these guys are sent to a far far away place, often an island off the mainland. For example, British sent them to Australia, and the worst of the worst to Tasmania. In China, they are sent to Guangdong & Fujian, the worst of the worst to Hong Kong, Hainan or Taiwan. It turned out not bad right?

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Uh, your sales tax at least is already higher, Sir…

I don’t think that’s a great or compassionate idea. I wonder where is their family? I dated someone who had a paranoid schizophrenic uncle. He was in a group home and medicated. The state covered all the bills, but the family had to navigate on his behalf to get the treatment. The court won’t step in and legally mandate the treatment unless there’s a threat of immediate danger. I think we should take care of them, but do it in a way that’s not endangering densely populated areas.


Right. Also I think the court should mandate treatment even if they don’t get consent from families. If these people have well functioning families that are willing to take care of them they won’t be in the situation they are in right now. So to require families’ consent is counter productive.

Overall, I agree. I also have mixed feelings about it. It’s a slippery slope of what allows someone to be legally forced into treatment. It might start out good now, but what about 50 years from now? We might be shocked at what things qualify for forced treatment in the future.

There’s not a decent way to get rid of these problematic people. For that, I am not assuring all homeless or under section 8 or whatever welfare program there is out there are bad members of society.

Basically, those who are always bitching about government are the ones who at the very opportunity will put one of their own into government programs, and then throw the key away if they are put into housing complexes like this one. For others, it is about a humane approach to the very isolated part of our society we don’t talk about. Some of them may be former military men or women whom were in the line of duty fighting for you and I to have the right to be bitching and moaning about how they end up.

The real, very cruel reality is that this country is chained to the famous constitution shadow. Everybody alleges somebody, something is infringing on their rights, or are injured by events that they themselves adore to “protect”. From human rights, civil rights, to healthcare, we end up on the stupid mantra of the gun ownership. Nobody is looking at the end result, to the benefit of “we the people”. Me, me, me!

I’ve read so many people saying these other people, homeless people, those who never repent and stop living like they do should be put to death. Others think it is a good idea to send them to special jails, like Guantanamo, send them there, put some guards, feed them and throw the key away.

Fine with me, do whatever. But first, you need to get away from using the constitution for their protection. And, after you are done with taking down their constitutional rights, the question is who-whom are going to determine if they, or you, fit into that criteria? The government? Special association? Who?

After homeless, why not start with gays? How about drug addicts? Then, rapists, then a fat person, then, you name your favorite or hated or undesirable person, be this person a Chinese, Japanese, Hispanic, whatever race and nationality. Just don’t go to the stupidity of the second amendment.