November 25, 2019
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FROM THE COLD:
HOMELESS SHELTER EXPANDING, MOUNTAIN VIEW COLD WEATHER SHELTER TO REOPEN FOR
SAN JOSE – Homeless residents in Santa Clara County will have
more places to sleep this winter, with the North County Shelter in Sunnyvale
increasing its capacity and the Mountain View shelter reopening its doors for
the winter season, Monday, December 2.
“We can never do enough. I know that,” said Board of
Supervisors President Joe Simitian, “but we’ve got to keep pushing.” When
Simitian returned to the Board of Supervisors in January 2013, he was
disappointed to learn that the old Sunnyvale Cold Weather Shelter was slated
for closure with no planned replacement.
In response, Simitian pushed for a new location,
operating year-round (instead of four months a year) and an increased capacity
(175 shelter beds, up from 125). Shortly thereafter, Simitian championed a new
cold weather shelter in Mountain View. “It seemed clear to me that a single
homeless shelter in the North County/West Valley area I represent wasn’t going
to be enough. And it wasn’t. That’s why I was so thankful we could add a
shelter in Mountain View,” said Simitian.
Weather Shelter Program in Mountain View, which operates through the end of
March, will begin serving single women and families, starting on Monday,
December 2. The program, which is in its third year of operation, will
provide services for up to 50 people, including as many as 10 families.
North County Shelter in Sunnyvale, which became a year-round
shelter program earlier this year after the Board of Supervisors unanimously
approved Simitian’s proposal, is increasing its number of beds
from 125 to 175 to meet demand. “Earlier surveys have shown us that the homeless count is up in the North County, and the 98% level of use at the existing shelter in Sunnyvale shows there’s demand,” said Simitian .
will be operated by HomeFirst, a non-profit agency with 30 years of experience
operating winter shelters. “We’re happy to continue to provide accommodations
and support services in Mountain View and Sunnyvale. As homelessness continues
to increase in the County, these shelters are vital to the health of the
community,” said Andrea Urton, CEO of HomeFirst.
collaborating agencies include: Community Services Agency of Mountain View and
Los Altos, Hope’s Corner, Los Altos United Methodist Church, the County Office
of Supportive Housing and West Valley Community Services. Simitian said, “It’s
been heartening to see folks pull together to get this done. Working in
partnership we can do so much more.”
As the Mountain View Shelter prepares to open for its third year, Simitian said
he’s heartened by the community response. “Even though the Mountain View
Shelter is immediately adjacent to a residential neighborhood, it was approved
and has been operating with no opposition from local residents. Simitian credits a, “caring community and a
can-do city government” with facilitating the County’s efforts.
interested in helping, volunteering to serve a meal at a shelter is a popular
way to help. Volunteers can prepare a meal off-site or have one catered in.
Learn more and sign up at: www.homefirstscc.org/volunteer