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Mountain View cold weather shelter reopens November 28 with expanded hours

SAN JOSE – Santa Clara County’s Cold Weather Shelter Program returns to Mountain View this winter with expanded hours. The program will provide up to 30 beds and a warm place to stay nightly from 3 p.m. to 9 a.m. for women and families starting November 28 (the Monday after Thanksgiving). The shelter will remain open through the end of March.

“People need a place to go, particularly when it’s cold and wet outside. It’s as simple as that,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, who first proposed the shelter in 2017. “It’s critical that we make sure our residents are safe and sheltered once the weather gets even worse.”

The Mountain View Cold Weather Shelter program is housed at the Los Altos United Methodist Church’s Mountain View campus, on the corner of Hope and Mercy Streets, and is operated under the County’s contract with HomeFirst. It has been in operation every cold weather season since 2017. The shelter provides sleeping accommodations, dinner and breakfast, access to showers and restrooms, and case management.

The shelter previously operated between 5 p.m. and 6:30 a.m., but the hours were extended to 3 p.m. to 9 a.m. this year in recognition of the need for women, families and children staying at the shelter to have a warm and safe place to go after school ends in the afternoon and before buses and other resources start operating in the morning. Simitian said he pushed for the extra hours, “because the need is clear, and I worried frankly that some people either couldn’t or wouldn’t come in to the shelter with the more limited hours.”

“This partnership is right at the center of our work in Mountain View, which is all about the sacred act of neighboring,” said Dave Samelson, Senior Pastor at Los Altos United Methodist Church. “By connecting our outreach programs with the city, county, and local nonprofits serving our neighbors in need, we’re working to create a community where everyone can flourish.”

In addition to hosting the Cold Weather Shelter, the site also pulls together multiple community programs serving vulnerable neighbors and families:

  • Hope’s Corner provides nutritious meals for those in need and warm showers and laundry for community members who are unhoused.
  • The United Effort Organization provides case management and outreach services to help unhoused people move towards self-sufficiency and a safe home.
  • Art Changes Us is an arts and empowerment program that offers high school aged youth a safe and supportive space to discover their voice, express themselves, and connect with their community.
  • Community Health Awareness Council’s (CHAC) Family Resource Center, in collaboration with FIRST 5 Santa Clara County and other community partners, offers programs that help parents and other caregivers understand the importance of physical and social-emotional development during early childhood. 

“The City of Mountain View is pleased to work with the County of Santa Clara and community partners in expanding the cold weather shelter’s hours to help women and families in need stay warm and out of the elements during the winter,” said Mayor Lucas Ramirez. “This coordinated effort is critical in helping our vulnerable residents link up with essential services.”

Clients at the shelter are referred by the County's Here4You Hotline (408-385-2400), which matches people to the right emergency shelter for them and makes referrals to other community resources, including homelessness prevention services and rental assistance.

Simitian said, “I am so gratified by the partnerships that have made all this possible; the County, the City, HomeFirst, the church and nonprofits like Hope’s Corner and CHAC have all stepped up to care for the whole family, providing a roof over their heads and much, much more. And kudos to the community for welcoming these services into the neighborhood.”