Inclement Weather Alert for South County Homeless

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An Important Press Release: 


In response to the National Weather Service forecast of temperatures dropping into the 30s in some areas, the County of Santa Clara Office of Supportive Housing is declaring an Inclement Weather Episode for South County ONLY (Morgan Hill, San Martin and Gilroy) starting Monday, November 28, and extending at least until through Saturday night, December 3, 2016.


The Office of Supportive Housing can expand its shelter capacity and open early for inclement weather when there is a forecasted overnight low of 38 degrees or lower with a probability of rain less than 50 percent; or there is a forecasted overnight low of 42 degrees or lower with a probability of rain of 50 percent or greater.


“We are doing everything we can to ensure families and individuals without a roof over their heads can be spared from the extremely cold temperatures expected this week, and are able to spend the night in a warm, safe place,” said Supervisor Mike Wasserman, District 1. “Our goal is to find permanent housing solutions, but we need to focus on the immediate needs of our homeless population.”


The Gilroy Compassion Center (370 Tomkins Ct. just off of Murray Avenue, in Gilroy), will be available as a Warming Center according to its usual hours: 8:00 a.m. until noon.  The Gilroy Armory will begin operations and be available for overnight shelter starting the evening of Wednesday, November 30th.  Once it opens, its capacity will increase by 50 beds during Inclement Weather Episodes, which will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.  This is an exception to the usual capacity of 130 beds, which are available by referral only—starting on the 30th.  


Each year, the County of Santa Clara’s Cold Weather Shelter Program (CWSP) provides homeless individual and families with a respite from cold and inclement weather from the Monday after Thanksgiving through March 31, with up to 395 additional beds offered at shelter locations.  Beginning Nov. 28, the program will offer 125 beds at the North County Winter Shelter in Sunnyvale, and from November 30, 130 shelter beds will be available at the Gilroy Armory. Additionally, the County has expanded its program this year to offer shelter to 35 homeless families at the Arturo Ochoa Migrant Center in Gilroy.


The new Ochoa Winter Family Shelter located at Arturo Ochoa Migrant Center in Gilroy will offer shelter to 35 homeless families, and up to 140 additional beds. The center, located on Southside Road, will provide intensive case management services to all the families, enabling them to receive the appropriate assistance they need to make the transition to stable housing.  For homeless families seeking shelter in the Gilroy area, they can call St. Joseph’s Family Center for a referral at 408-842-6662, ext. 21.     


The Gilroy Armory Shelter and the Sunnyvale Shelter will provide warm beds, two nutritious meals a day, and a hot shower to clients. A variety of supportive services will also be offered, including guidance to help set short-term goals, employment resources, medical care, and referrals to other services. Volunteers provide haircuts and donated toiletries and clothing are available to those who need them.


Both County shelters will be operated on a referral basis, working closely with HomeFirst to identify individuals/families who will be referred to the shelters to have a guaranteed bed throughout the CWSP period. HomeFirst will coordinate referrals for both sites. For individuals seeking shelter at the Gilroy Armory, call 408-489-8781 or for the Sunnyvale Shelter, call 408-854-4670.


“It is our priority to find additional beds and warming centers during extreme and inclement weather for homeless adults and families,” said Bob Dolci, Housing and Homeless Concerns Coordinator with the Santa Clara County Office of Supportive Housing.


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