Santa Clara County approves cold weather homeless shelter program

Beds in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Sunnyvale will be available from Nov. 30 to March 31

Santa Clara County will have 255 beds available for the homeless during the winter under a program approved by the board of supervisors Tuesday.

The beds in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Sunnyvale in the northern portion of the county and Gilroy in the southern area of the county will be available during the cold weather from Nov. 30 to March 31.

The larger shelters will be operated by HomeFirst, a Milpitas-based nonprofit, in Sunnyvale at the former Onizuka Air Force Station at 1100 Innovation Way, which will offer 100 beds and 130 beds at the Gilroy National Guard Armory.

Last week the Sunnyvale City Council approved the county's use of the site, where temporary structures will be set up for the shelter.

The county has been working on securing a site during the winter shelter season since last year's closure of the Sunnyvale Armory, which had provided 125 beds, for an affordable housing project set for completion in the spring.

The former air station site is closer to public transportation than another Sunnyvale location at California and Fair Oaks avenues the county had previously considered.

"This new site also has given the Board an opportunity expand shelter services to better meet the needs of the homeless during extremely cold weather," board president Dave Cortese said in a statement.

"The search for a North County Shelter location has been a year-long, extensive process to balance the needs of our vulnerable homeless population with the concerns of our residents. We have examined over 70 potential sites for the shelter," Supervisor Joe Simitian said in a statement.

The board approved other services at the Sunnyvale location that will include expanded hours from 4 p.m. to 9 a.m., more employees, private security during the swing and graveyard shifts, and shuttle services.

Five beds will be provided by Hotel de Zink in Palo Alto with the help of InnVision Shelter Network and 20 beds in East Palo Alto with Project WeHOPE.

"The beds at Project WeHOPE in East Palo Alto, in San Mateo County, are much closer than the beds in San Jose where some North County homeless had to go to find shelter last winter," Simitian said.

Related content:

Nonprofit aims to bring laundry, shower services to homeless


6 people like this
Posted by Reminder
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 8, 2015 at 12:08 pm

[Post removed.]

2 people like this
Posted by Alice Schaffer Smith
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 12, 2015 at 8:43 am

250 Beds is a drop in the bucket. We need housing. I don't understand why these mostly Veterans can't be housed at Moffatt Field, a federal facility with access to public transportation.

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