There are more than 2,000 chronically homeless* individuals in the County, representing 33% of the general homeless population.  They tend to have high rates of behavioral health problems, including severe mental illness and substance abuse disorders, conditions that may be exacerbated by physical illness, injury, or trauma. Consequently, they are frequent users of emergency services, crisis response, and public safety systems.

HomeFirst is considered the leading provider of services to the chronically homeless in Santa Clara County and has one of the highest rates of success in finding permanent housing for them.

Programs for the Chronically Homeless

Street Outreach Program
Boccardo Regional Reception Center (BRC)

BRC Supportive Housing Program
Medical Respite Program
New Start

Cold Weather Shelter Program
Intensive Case Management Program


* According to HUD, a ‘chronically homeless individual is defined to mean "a homeless individual with a disability who lives either in a place not meant for human habitation, a safe haven, or in an emergency shelter, or in an institutional care facility if the individual has been living in the facility for fewer than 90 days and had been living in a place not meant for human habitation, a safe haven, or in an emergency shelter immediately before entering the institutional care facility. In order to meet the ‘‘chronically homeless’’ definition, the individual also must have been living as described above continuously for at least 12 months, or on at least four separate occasions in the last 3 years, where the combined occasions total a length of time of at least 12 months. Each period separating the occasions must include at least 7 nights of living in a situation other than a place not meant for human habitation, in an emergency shelter, or in a safe haven."