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A Dispatch From The City of San Jose's Camden Community Center Homeless Family Shelter

Run By HomeFirst Services

Important update to this posting … City of San Jose staff Darius Brown (City's unsung heroes!) is the hero who conceptualized and launched the camp which was then supported by HomeFirst Services staff.  We are grateful for the creativity and care the City of San Jose Housing Department whose staff has worked tirelessly on housing and shelter solutions, COVID-19 response all while continuing the long-term drive to create more affordable permanent housing for our homeless neighbors.

HomeFirst Services staff created a pop-up shelter for families at the Camden Community Center in response to the threat of COVID-19 virus. Here, Shift Supervisor Erica Lopez describes the great lengths staff continues to go to as they provide services above and beyond to create a healthy, nurturing environment for all. 

The clients here at Camden have become a bit of a Family. The clients have expressed how welcomed they feel here. HomeFirst staff have made the clients feel like family. Each and everyday we all spend quality time together with the children and their parents doing art projects, crafts, coloring. We here at Camden have tried our best to make the facility feel like our clients are “home.” They feel safe and feel their children are safe. We have created a day camp that we have had with our children clients where staff created art projects and fun outdoors activities that we do together. Our first day of the camp we made T-Shirts for our participants and each of the kids made their own unique shirt for themselves. We made obstacle courses for them and relay races. Played flag football and soccer. We had water balloon wars and water gun fights for them on our hot hot days. We’ve celebrated birthdays here. Had cake, ice cream, and pizza. The staff has built such rapport with the families that we’ve been blessed enough to give Birthday presents to the clients. Currently we are having our nightly movie together where we all watch a movie together and have popcorn. I hope some if any of this is helpful to the cause.


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