Cold Weather Safety

Warming Centers and Expanded Shelter Services

During inclement weather, warming centers, and expanded shelter services are available and a list of warming centers and shelters will appear below​​​​. Please call 2-1-1 for information on expanded shelters and additional services in Santa Clara County.​

Due to the rain and cold temperatures, especially in South Santa Clara County areas, the County Office of Supportive Housing is securing additional after-hours shelter beds for people experiencing homelessness. Call 408-278-6420 for help or to direct someone in need of assistance.

Services for Adults, Families and Veterans

Download the Cold Weather Tips for Older Adults to learn more ways on how you can stay warm during cold weather.

For information on shelter locations and warming centers around Santa Clara County, visit the Office of Supportive Housing website.

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 BADWEATHER 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 for hours and location).

Updated Information: Expanded Services for Inclement Weather Episodes

“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.​

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​


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 of hypothermia. Alcohol, drug use, and medications can also increase the risk of 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.​​

Examples of clothes to wear to prevent frostbite

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