'Apple's Shame:' Tech Giant Faces Criticism Over Inability To Rehouse Homeless People It Evicted

Apple Inc AAPL, which reportedly evicted 56 homeless people from its property last year, has not yet found permanent homes for many of them despite spending millions of dollars.

What Happened: The Tim Cook-led company removed the homeless in September from its property and provided dozens with lodgings at a motel for nine months along with assistance to find new housing, reported the Finger Lake Times.

As of May 16, 25 people were reported to be awaiting placements at the motel and those who can’t be housed before the May 25 deadline would be offered emergency shelter beds. Eight have been housed, according to the report.

“We know (the motel) worked quite efficiently for some program participants, and more time is needed for others,” said Lor Smith, chief marketing and communications officer for HomeFirst, the non-profit organization that runs the Apple-funded program, according to the Times.

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Why It Matters: The tech company pledged $2.5 billion to help fight Bay Area’s housing shortage and homelessness crisis. HomeFirst said last year that Apple spent “millions” in its efforts to help connect the motel residents to case management services for long-term housing, mental health care and other services.

The homeless were removed from Apple’s Component Drive property located in San Jose after a large encampment arose during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The rehoused people were reportedly placed into a mix of permanent and transitional housing comprising tiny homes and apartments.

Shaunn Cartwright, an activist, criticized Apple for offering people the stability of a motel room only to remove it. 

“If they end up on the streets, that is entirely Apple’s fault,” she said, according to the Times. “That is Apple’s shame.”

While HomeFirst is working to get some residents into tiny home communities, some motel residents do not find the small dwellings suitable or distrust the housing due to common bathrooms or restrictive policies related to pets.

Price Action: On Tuesday, Apple shares closed 1.9% lower at $140.36 in the regular session and rose 0.9% in the after-hours trading, according to data from Benzinga Pro.

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Posted In: NewsTechMediaBay Areabig techHomelessnessHousing