San Jose Flood: City donates 20 cars and launches a car replacement program for victims – The Mercury News
SAN JOSE — At least 200 families lost their cars in the devastating floods in February, prompting city and community leaders on Tuesday to launch a car replacement program for those victims and to donate 20 city-owned cars.
The 20 surplus cars are primarily police vehicles that are 10 years old with an average of 120,000 miles. Five of those cars will be delivered Monday, city officials said, with the rest coming in the next two months.
The average cost of the vehicles is $21,180, according to Public Works deputy director Joe Garcia.
Mayor Sam Liccardo, who was joined by Goodwill of Silicon Valley president and CEO Michael Fox and Del Grande Dealer Group COO Jeremy Beaver, announced the new campaign in a news conference Tuesday. The campaign encourages San Jose residents to donate their old cars to Goodwill of Silicon Valley, which will help distribute them to flood victims.
Fox said his organization will accept car donations, arrange for towing services for cars that don’t run, help with the DMV paperwork and provide auto cleaning services. He said flood survivors who lost their cars face “a significant challenge to maintaining their employment.”
“Your donation to Goodwill is not a handout — but a hand up to those in need,” Fox said Tuesday.
Liccardo added that the first priority will go to families who used their cars for work. Flood victims will be asked to provide documentation to show their car is inoperable and must be receiving case management from Catholic Charities of Santa Clara.
“We are challenging our businesses and residents, who have been very generous so far, and we’re grateful for their generosity, to come forward once again to help us with replacing vehicles,” Liccardo said. “April 15 is right around the corner, so get that tax deduction and help a family in need.”
The mayor said San Jose believes in “practicing what we preach” — leading to the donation of 20 surplus city cars in a unanimous vote by the City Council on Tuesday. The city puts 150 to 200 vehicles out of service each year, officials said, and could donate additional cars to flood victims in the future.
The Silicon Valley Auto Dealers Association, which donated $100,000 to a relief fund for flood victims, also announced Tuesday that its 61 dealers — including 13 from the Del Grande Dealer Group — will offer discounts to flood victims to buy used cars or pay for repairs from flood damage.
Flood victims looking for a replacement car should contact Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County to get started, said city spokesman David Vossbrink.
Anyone wanting to donate a vehicle should call Goodwill of Silicon Valley at (408) 869-9101.