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Gilroy
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April 2, 2020

Christmas Day was cold for some needy families

Resources for emergency shelters are limited, and at capacity

Forecasters this week predicted rain on Christmas, plus cold nights and cool days through the rest of 2019. This prompted Santa Clara County to announce Monday, Dec. 23  that several “warming centers and additional shelter beds” are available in Santa Clara County through Monday, Dec. 30.

The county Office of Supportive Housing announced an inclement weather episode from Monday, Dec. 23 through Dec. 30, and said it will work with shelters to offer additional beds and daytime and overnight warming centers for respite from the cold and rain.
The one day that likely would leave many people without shelter, especially families, was Christmas Day. “Where families spend Christmas and the holidays is hard to tell,” said David Cox of the St. Joseph’s Family Center in Gilroy. “Some will be alone and on the streets; others will have some family contact.’
The designated daytime warming centers were to close early on Christmas Eve, and would not be open on Christmas, the county said. The would reopen Dec. 26. 

The Gilroy Winter Shelter at the National Guard Armory has 105 beds available nightly for adults and families, including Christmas Eve and Christmas night, beginning at 6pm, but would not provide daytime shelter for guests on Christmas Day, or any other day, since they must leave by 6am each day.

An additional 25 beds are available at the armory through Dec. 30 and whenever the county declares an inclement weather episode. Regular stays at the armory require a referral from a local agency,   charity, or law enforcement, but during inclement weather, no referral is needed. The armory is located at 8490 Wren Avenue.

At the southeast edge of Gilroy, across the street from the city waste treatment facility on Southside Drive, the Ochoa Winter Family Shelter also is available for up to 35 families each winter, but it leaves families without shelter out in the cold until the Ochoa Center opens for three months Jan. 2. And the St. Joseph’s Family Center of Gilroy, reported this month that the 35 apartments have already been booked by families for the season; there is a waiting list.

For more than nine months of the year, including Christmas, the two- and three-bedroom duplexes at the Arturo Ochoa Migrant Center provide temporary housing, health services and busing to nearly schools, for up to 100 families of migrant farm workers.

The St. Joseph’s Family Center, 7950 Church St., Gilroy, handles referrals for the limited winter lodging: Call 408-842-6662, ext. 21. See http://bit.ly/WarmCenters1-2-2019 for warming center holiday hours and locations. For information on shelters, call 2-1-1. Register to receive text messages about emergency shelter and services by texting 888777, and typing BAD WEATHER, or by calling 408- 515-6885. 

For more information about inclement weather, visit sccgov.org/sites/opa/newsroom/Pages/inclement-weather-12-23-19.aspx.

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