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December 2, 2011 > Cold Weather Shelters open

Cold Weather Shelters open

Submitted By Gwendolyn Mitchell

The County of Santa Clara and EHC LifeBuilders opened the Cold Weather Shelter Program for the homeless Monday, November 28. Located at the National Guard Armories in Gilroy and Sunnyvale and the Boccardo Reception Center in San Jose, the program provides 365 emergency shelter beds nightly from the Monday after Thanksgiving through the end of March. Last year the program served 2,693 individuals, most (90%) at the San Jose and Sunnyvale sites.

The County of Santa Clara contracts with EHC LifeBuilders to operate the shelters for homeless individuals, veterans and youth during cold winter months. Clients receive a warm bed and two meals a day. The program serves a high number of chronically homeless individuals who make up 36% of the total homeless population on any given night.

"The Cold Weather Program provides life-saving shelter to thousands during the winter months," said Jenny Niklaus, CEO of EHC LifeBuilders. "This shelter is absolutely critical, but our efforts cannot stop there. At EHC, we are dedicated to developing programs that address the underlying causes of homelessness and identify permanent housing solutions so that one day, there won't be a need for an emergency shelter program in our community."

The Cold Weather Shelter Program locations are the Boccardo Reception Center in San Jose at 2011 Little Orchard Street, the National Guard Armory in Gilroy at 8940 Wren Avenue and the National Guard Armory in Sunnyvale at 620 East Maude Avenue. Emergency shelter beds are allocated through at daily lottery at the Boccardo Reception Center and on a first-come, first-served basis at the National Guard Armories.

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