Residents protest conditions at San Jose hotel for homeless

Tenants staying at a hotel for the homeless in San Jose are calling the conditions of their rooms deplorable and say their requests for change are falling on deaf ears.  

People that spoke with KTVU say they’ve been living in the SureStay Hotel for a few years, and they’ve asked repeatedly for better living conditions and so far, nothing has changed. 

"They show us no respect and give us no dignity. They try to take it away," said Cheryl Fleming, a SureStay Hotel resident.     

The SureStay Hotel on First Street is owned by the City of San Jose and managed by LifeMoves, an organization that provides supportive services to the homeless community. But some of the people housed there say the property isn’t being maintained and their cries for improvement are being ignored. 

Molly Rodriguez says she’s lived there for two years.  

"None of the sockets work. I noticed there’s mold in my closet. I’ve put in multiple work orders, nothing. I’ve taken pictures before of the mold, and they even came in to look at it, and still nothing," said Rodriguez.     


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On Tuesday, some of the residents held a protest outside the hotel to demand better living conditions. Multiple people living at the SureStay Hotel provided video and pictures to KTVU, showing mold on the walls, molded carpet, cockroaches and brown water coming from the tub’s faucet. 

They also complained about the meals they’re served, saying some of eat isn’t healthy or fresh enough to eat.  

"I’ve had some meals that as soon as you open the package, you can smell the rot. Rotting meat. I opened one package that had cooked rice, white rice. It was harder than the rocks outside my door," said Hector Chavez, a SureStay Hotel resident for four years.    

In January, San Jose allocated $2.5 million of federal funding to maintain support services and properties like the SureStay Hotel, and LifeMoves is responsible for maintaining operations. Still, residents say the hotel continues to be plagued with problems.  

"We got bed bugs from the guys next door that were bringing people in from the creek. They jumped through the wall or under the carpet and got us,  Fleming said. 

"The electricity by the bathroom doesn’t work. I had to fix the toilet myself," Rodriguez said.    

The residents also complained about feeling ignored by security services and being harassed by outsiders. We reached out to LifeMoves for comment, but have yet to hear back