Shelters for Homeless Individuals & Families to Open Nov. 28

Community Knight
Program expands to shelter 35 homeless families at Arturo Ochoa Migrant Center in Gilroy

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. — 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 130 shelter beds at the Gilroy Armory and 125 beds at the North County Winter Shelter in Sunnyvale.  Additionally, the County has expanded its program this year to offer shelter to 35 homeless families at the Arturo Ochoa Migrant Center in Gilroy.

“Sheltering homeless children, families, and individuals is of critical importance,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Mike Wasserman. “We must do all we can to prevent cold weather deaths and remember that every single person who comes to the shelter is somebody’s son or daughter, brother or sister, mother or father and they need our help.”

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.

“Our clients are so vulnerable this time of year. One of the key things we do to prevent illness and death is to operate the Cold Weather Shelter Program for the County of Santa Clara,” said Andrea K. Urton, HomeFirst Chief Executive Officer of HomeFirst, which operates both County shelter sites, and the Boccardo Reception Center in San Jose.  “Shelters save lives and give us a critical opportunity to engage with clients. For many people experiencing homelessness, a shelter stay is the first step on the path to a permanent home.”

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 Cold Weather Shelter Program provides shelter to bring homeless adults and families in from the cold,” said Bob Dolci, Housing and Homeless Concerns Coordinator with the Santa Clara County Office of Supportive Housing. “We strive to make additional beds and warming centers available during extreme and inclement weather.”

The Office of Supportive Housing can expand its shelter capacity and open winter shelters early for inclement weather when there is 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.

During declared Inclement Weather Episodes, up to 192 additional beds will be available at other shelter locations in the County, including Bill Wilson Center, City Team Ministries, HomeFirst’s Boccardo Reception Center and the Gilroy Armory, Life Moves’ Georgia Travis House and Montgomery Street Inn, Project WeHOPE and Salvation Army.


•Gilroy Winter Shelter

National Guard Armory

8490 Wren Avenue, Gilroy, CA 95020

408-848-8023 (during operating hours only) or 408-489-8781

•Ochoa Winter Family Shelter

Arturo Ochoa Migrant Center

Southside Road, Gilroy 95020

408-842-6662, ext. 21                 

•North County Winter Shelter

999 Hamlin Court, Sunnyvale


•Boccardo Reception Center

2011 Little Orchard, San Jose, 95125