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Cold Weather Information

Published on: 12/29/2017 10:35 AM
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Services for Adults, Families and Veterans 
  
During inclement weather, warming centers and expanded shelter services are available - see list of warming centers and shelters.
 
For  information on shelter locations and warming centers around Santa Clara County, visit http://bit.ly/SCCshelters.
 
Hotlines are available to direct people to services:
  • Call 2-1-1: for health and human services in Santa Clara County
  • Homeless Helpline: Call the County Office of Supportive Housing at (408) 793-0550 to ask for assistance or report a homeless person in need in Santa Clara County (excluding San Jose), 
  • HomeFirst Homeless Helpline: Call (408) 510-7600 or e-mail Home First Helpline. HomeFirst’s Outreach team provides access to emergency shelter, showers, laundry, meals, medical services, case management, employment training, and more. 

Homeless individuals can register to receive text messages about services as follows:
·        Simply address a text message to: 888777
·        Type HOMELESS in the message
·        Send the message
 
To assist the homeless during winter months, donate new or slightly used cold weather gear such as hats, socks, gloves, sleeping bags, shoes, coats, and blankets.
Items can be dropped off anytime at HomeFirst, 2011 Little Orchard Street (main entrance is on Cimino Street) or Sacred Heart Community Services (visit www.sacredheartcs.org for hours and location).
 
 
Expanded Services for Inclement Weather Episodes
 
During extreme cold temperatures, the County’s Office of Supportive Housing implements the Inclement Weather Plan which supplements the regular, ongoing cold weather shelter program.
 
“We expand outreach and services for the homeless to reduce instances of hypothermia and frostbite caused by extreme weather including the cold, wind and rain,” said Michelle Covert, housing and homeless concerns coordinator for OSH. “Many of the homeless reside in encampments in creek areas and are at increased risk due to health conditions.”
 
Components of the Inclement Weather Plan include expanded shelter services, continued outreach to encampments by the County’s Valley Homeless Healthcare Program and overnight warming centers.
 
 
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Safety tips for cold weather
  • Avoid being outside during the coldest part of the day, or for extended periods of time in extreme cold weather
  • Dress in layers
  • Wear a hat, scarf and gloves/mittens
  • Wear waterproof, insulated boots to avoid hypothermia or frostbite
  • Get out of wet clothes as soon as possible
  • Stay hydrated
  • Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol if you will be staying outside

About Hypothermia

Hypothermia is a medical emergency that happens when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature. Normal body temperature is about 98.6 F, and hypothermia occurs when your body temperature drops below 95 F.
 
People who are 65 and older, or very young children are at a higher risk for hypothermia. Alcohol, drug use and medications can also increase the risk for hypothermia. Left untreated, hypothermia limits your nervous system from working correctly. It can cause a complete failure of your heart, respiratory system, and it can even be fatal.  
 
Symptoms of hypothermia are:
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Exhaustion
  • Severe shivering
  • Clumsiness and lack of coordination
  • Slurred speech or mumbling
  • Drowsiness or very low energy
  • Weak pulse
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Progressive loss of consciousness


Seek medical attention if you experience these symptoms.