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Houseless Environmental Volunteers Initiative

The Houseless Environmental Volunteers Initiative aims to provide reliable and meaningful job opportunities with stipends to houseless individuals in San Jose while furthering environmental efforts and contributing to the urban forest.

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"HEVI is a student-led mission centered around empowerment and compassion through ecological stewardship. By partnering with local nonprofits, HEVI is not only providing members of our unhoused community with stipends and opportunities to restore our environment, they are nurturing hope, power, and positive change."

California State Senator Dave Cortese

Words of Support

Houseless, not Homeless. 

Hear our houseless individuals’ stories on our Blog Posts.

Each of our houseless friends are on a unique journey shaped by their own circumstances, challenges, and resilience. 

As you read these blogs, please show respect for our houseless friends. They've shown incredible courage by allowing us to share their life stories and experiences on this blog. We kindly request that you treat their stories with the sensitivity and empathy they deserve.

City Garden

Our Purpose

As the Bay Area begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the houseless community has received inadequate support. The homelessness rate in California is projected to increase by 68% in the next 4 years, primarily due to the large amounts of layoffs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and small business closures. Many people have been forced to foreclose their homes, couchsurf, or live on the streets. According to a survey conducted by Mercury News, homelessness is currently recognized as the number one issue of the Bay Area. We recognized the need to address this severe crisis and created HEVI.


Environmental efforts have also been impeded throughout the pandemic. Government programs, individual donations, and volunteers have all been focused on the public health crisis. Small local nonprofits have shut down due to a lack of funding, and those that are still open are struggling to keep up.


HEVI aims to address both these issues by engaging the homeless community in reliable forms of employment that simultaneously support environmental initiatives.

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