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Cold Weather Tips and Resources

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 November through April 15.  During inclement weather episodes of cold overnight temperatures, the County expands shelter bed capacity and warming centers.  Shelter locations:​

*Inclement weather conditions:
- forecasted overnight low of 40 degrees or lower with a probability of rain less than 50%, OR
- forecasted overnight low of 45 degrees or lower with a probability of rain more than 50%


​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​


San Jose Homeless Concerns Helpline: Individuals in need of shelter or witnessing a homeless person in need in the City of San Jose may contact the San Jose Homeless Concerns Line at (408) 975-1440, and describe the situation to the dispatcher (between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Mon-Fri., or leave a message) so a member of the People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) Team can visit the individual(s) and engage them in services. 

Homeless Helpline to Services for all other areas of Santa Clara County:To ask for assistance or report a homeless person in need in Santa Clara County (excluding San Jose), call the County Office of Supportive Housing at (408) 793-0550.

HomeFirst Homeless Helpline: Call (408) 510-7600 or e-mail Home First Helpline​.  HomeFirst’s Outreach team provides assistance to homeless individuals looking to connect to support services. They can help find emergency shelter, showers, laundry, meals, medical services, case management, employment training, and more.  


If possible, 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 if possible, preferably one that covers your ears
  • Mittens provide more warmth than gloves
  • Wear waterproof, insulated boots to avoid hypothermia or frostbite
  • Stay hydrated
  • Get out of wet clothes as soon as possible
  • Drinking alcohol and staying outside in cold temperatures can be deadly. Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol if you will be staying outside



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 some of these symptoms***


If you are 65 or older, have someone check on you regular­ly, especially during cold weather. Others should check on elderly friends and neighbors frequently to make sure that their homes are adequately heated and that they are safe.

Cold Weather Tips for Older Adults (English)

Consejos para gente de edad avanzada durante temporadas de frio (Spanish)

年長者過好寒冬的秘訣 (Chinese)​

Chỉ Dẫn Cho Người Cao Niên Trong Mùa Lạnh (Vietnamese)

For more cold weather resources, visit the Office of Emergency Services for cold weather information​​.

Last updated: 1/18/2018 11:55 AM