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Our Programs

HomeFirst Services is the premiere provider of programs, services and housing (transitional, bridge, emergency interim to permanent and permanent housing) and shelter sites for those who are homeless or in imminent risk of being unhoused across Santa Clara County and southern San Mateo County. We service over 6,000 homeless individuals, families with children, veterans & young adults each year.

Our programs are divided into the following Business Units:

Emergency Shelter

Supportive Services

Veterans Program

Clinical Services

Program Highlights

Our programs & services are organized around 4 business units:

Emergency Shelter Services (Client Capacity: up to 640 Nightly)

Boccardo Reception Center (BRC)

The BRC is the is the largest homeless service center in Santa Clara County, serving 250 adults nightly. It operates year-round, 24 hours a day, providing shelter and transitional housing as well as a wide array of critical services.

top view of houses

At the BRC, we offer the most comprehensive services for homeless veterans in the County, including mental health counseling, employment placement, emergency shelter, transitional housing, and support for families of veterans who are at risk of homelessness.

It is by referral only, and offers a variety of case management and support services.

We have the largest outreach program for people living on the streets and in encampments in San Jose and have operated Santa Clara County's Cold Weather Shelter Program for nearly three decades.

We operate the Sobrato Family Living Center in Santa Clara and the Boccardo Family Living Center in San Martin, providing housing , services, and more for families across the region.

We operate the Sobrato House Youth Center for foster youth in downtown San Jose and support youth living in the community who have aged out of the foster care system.

Emergency Interim Housing (EIH)

EIH- Provides temporary ‘tiny homes’ for the City’s most vulnerable houseless people as an emergency COVID-19 response.  Units for single adults and/or couples have individualized climate control, a bathroom with a shower as well as shared amenities such as laundry facilities, kitchen/pantry/dining hall, computer lab, dog run, container gardens, on-site support and more.  

EIH- Provides temporary non-congregate shelter for the county most vulnerable houseless people as an emergency COVID-19 response.

The average participant is elderly and has chronic health condition(s)

Individuals are moved  from emergency placement motels across the county into an EIH site

EIH takes COVID precautions to ensure the safety of all participants and staff.

 

People are not permitted to enter the community unless they are social service staff working with participants or have a prescheduled appointment

 

No drop in services are provided, all services on site are specifically for the use of EIH participants only.

 

Every person that enters the EIH must have their temperature taken at the door and always wear a PPE face mask.

EIH Eligibility

•Must be an adult 18 years of age or older

 

•Must not posses a conviction for 290, arson or production of methamphetamines

 

•Must be referred through Santa Clara County Emergency Worker

 

•Must meet the medical criteria determined by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department guidelines for vulnerable to COVID-19 population

 

•Must sign Community Guidelines agreement

EIH Operations Team

The EIH operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year

Program Manager and Shift Supervisors provide oversight of operations

Clinician provides individual therapeutic services and groups

Case Manager provides onsite support to assist individuals with developing an exit to permanent housing action plan,  coordination of services, housing and employment search, etc. 

Resident Advocates provide general staffing for operations and linkage to community resources available

4 Security Service members per shift

Inside an EIH Unit

•Each EIH unit is furnished with a single or double bed, storage drawers, door mat, lamp

•Each unit has it’s own private bathroom with shower, toilet and faucet.

•Each participant receives a welcome move in kit

•All EIH participants are required to treat their personal property and belongings in our “Hot Box” to ensure a pest free community.

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•Access to a shared computer lab

•Access to a shared picnic area

•Access to shared gardening space

•Access to shared Kitchen

•Access to shared laundry machines

•Access to shared dog run

•Access to shared smoking section

•Access to community conference room

•Access to TV and library area 

•Access to private meeting rooms for Case Management, Therapeutic Services and Groups

EIH Community Shared Space

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Frequently Asked Questions

•Can a participant be pregnant?

Yes, they may move in while pregnant,  however the EIH is strictly an 18+ over site.

 

•Can anyone receive a tour?

No. To respect our participants privacy, tours are specific to referring partner agencies only.

 

•Do participants have a curfew?

The EIH is open 24/7 and all participants are free to come and go as they please. However, we do observe quiet hours from 10pm-8am.

 

•Can participants have visitors?

No visitors are permitted during COVID-19 impacted times, except for Support Services Providers who may visit their clients on site.

 

•Are meals provided to participants?

Limited pre-cooked meals are provided on site. Participants have access to a shared  pantry full of cooking supplies to  prepare their own meals in the shared kitchen.

 

Veterans Services

At the BRC, we offer the most comprehensive services for homeless veterans in the County, including mental health counseling, employment placement, emergency shelter, transitional housing, and support for families of veterans who are at risk of homelessness.

Sunnyvale Family Shelter

Sunnyvale Family Shelter is open year-round and serves up to 140 individuals and families nightly. The shelter operates on a referral basis, and all guests can receive a variety of case management and support services.

Bridge Housing Communities (BHC)

We are excited to announce a pilot program in partnership with the City of San Jose -the Bridge Housing Communities (BHC). HomeFirst’s (BHC) Program provides safe and secure interim housing to eligible individuals referred through Santa Clara County and City of San Jose programs. Participants receive an array of on-site supportive services and access to resources needed to build a lifestyle of self-sufficiency.

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HomeFirst is proud to be the service provider for the City of San Jose’s Bridge Housing Communities (BHC). Each BHC provides interim housing opportunities to unhoused single adults in a safe, private, and secure environment. HomeFirst delivers on-site supportive services to BHC participants and 24/7 staffing.

 

Case management services, combined with active community engagement, empowers participants to build stability and self-sufficiency while bridging from homelessness to permanent housing. BHC participants may enter the program through a rapid rehousing program, emergency-based referrals, individuals with a completed VISPDAT referred by outreach teams, and referrals from the Santa Clara County Shelter system. 

 

Each BHC site features 40 private sleeping cabins and community spaces for showers, restrooms, dining, laundry, trash services, workshops, and parking. The site also includes a vegetable and fruit garden, and a dog run.

 

There is on-site security 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Locations

BHC Mabury

1410 Mabury Road, San Jose, CA 95133

Felipe BHC - now open

928 Felipe Ave, San Jose, CA 95122

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BHC Eligibility Criteria

  1. Must be a single adult.

  2. Must have an exit to permanent housing as a goal.

  3. May not possess a conviction for 290 (i.e., failure to register as a sex offender), arson, or production of methamphetamines.

  4. Must be referred through an approved partner agency. 

BHC Referral and Application Process

The BHC is a referral-based program. BHC program prioritization consists of participants' enrollment in a rapid rehousing program, emergency-based referrals, individuals with a completed VISPDAT referred by outreach teams, and referrals from the Santa Clara County Shelter system. 

Private Community

The BHC does not offer drop-in services. The services on site are for the sole use of our program participants. If you would like linkage to alternative resources, please contact our 24/7 HomeFirst Homeless Helpline at 408-510-7600 or outreach@homefirstscc.org.

How You Can Help

Donate

Help provide essential items for BHC participants by donating items from our BHC wish list. To view our Amazon Wish List, click here.

Current Wishlist

  • New Twin XL blankets, sheet sets

  • New washable bed pillows

  • New towels, washcloths

  • Shower slippers, flip flops

  • Portable shower caddies

  • Laundry pods and dryer sheets

  • Gift cards -- Target & Walmart

  • Travel-size Toiletries, such as:

    • Shampoo, conditioner​

    • Deodorant

    • Toothbrushes, toothpaste

    • Soap, body wash, lotion

    • Combs, brushes

Volunteer

Share your time and expertise by volunteering to teach a workshop that supports independent living skills. Workshop topics include but are not limited to:

  • Employment

  • Financial Literacy

  • Nutrition & Cooking

  • Renter's Rights

  • Art

  • Gardening

  • Pet Health

  • Health, Wellness & Fitness

  • Conflict Resolution

  • Faith-based Services

Important:

  • Volunteers must be 18 or older. 

  • All volunteers must be scheduled in advance.

Information Requests

To learn more about BHC, volunteer or donation opportunities, please email BHCinfo@homefirstscc.org.

Community Concerns

To express concerns about the BHC site, email: BHCcommunityconcerns@homefirstscc.org.

 

 

Outreach

We have the largest outreach program for people living on the streets and in encampments in San Jose. Each day, our team distributes necessary supplies and information to those who are unsheltered within the city of San Jose and helps to resolve issues that prevent individuals from getting housed.

Cold Weather Shelter Program (CWSP)

HomeFirst has operated Santa Clara County's CWSP for nearly three decades. Shelters are in Mountain View and Gilroy and open from December to April each year. Individuals can self-refer.


In partnership with the City of San Jose, we are the service provider for two Overnight Warming Locations (OWLs) that operate throughout Winter that offers emergency assistance to those who do not have shelter placement.

(Referral only — no drop-ins)
8490 Wren Avenue
Gilroy, CA 95020
(408) 489-9560

Hours of operation: 5:00 PM to 6:00 AM

(Referral only — no drop-ins) 

748 Mercy St.
Mountain View, CA 94041
(408) 649-0906

Hours of operation: 5:00 PM to 6:00 AM

For more information on shelter locations and warming centers around Santa Clara County, call the Office of Supportive Housing at (408) 793-0550.

Overnight Warming Locations:

a homeless man sitting on the road side during winter

HomeFirst operates two Overnight Warming Locations (OWLs) in partnership with the City of San Jose. During the cold weather season the OWLs are open each evening from November 2019 to April 2020. Walk-ins are not guaranteed a bed. Please contact the Homeless Helpline at (408) 510-7600 for additional information.

2019-2020 OWL Locations:

Bascom Community Center

1000 S. Bascom Ave.
San Jose, CA 95128

Hours of operation: 9 PM - 8 AM

(participants must check-in by 10 PM)

Roosevelt Community Center

901 E. Santa Clara St.
San Jose, CA 95116

Hours of operation: 9 PM - 8 AM

(participants must check-in by 10 PM)

Overnight Warming Locations operate by referral only.
Referral forms can be faxed to: 408-288-5462

Download Referral Form Here

How You Can Help:

Donate

To make a financial contribution please visit our donation page or contact Lori Smith, Director of Development, at (408) 539-2112 or lsmith@homefirstscc.org.

Donate Supplies

We are in need of supplies and food for our cold weather shelters. To donate please email donategoods@homefirstscc.org or donate supplies through our Amazon Wish List. 

Cold Weather Shelter Program Wish List:

  • Bath Towels, sheets, and blankets

  • Laundry Soap (powder or powder pods)

  • Razors (disposable)

  • Shaving Cream

  • Toothbrushes

  • Dental Floss

  • Deodorant

  • Shampoo (trial size or large bottles)

  • Lotion

  • New White T-Shirts*

  • Underwear/Undergarments*

*For men & women in all sizes.

Volunteer

To join our dedicated group of volunteers, please visit our volunteer portal.

Thank you for your support. You are helping save lives!

Family Living Centers

At the Sobrato Family Living Center in Santa Clara and the Boccardo Family Living Center in San Martin, we provide housing services and more for families across the county.


We operate the Sobrato House Youth Center for foster youth in downtown San Jose and support youth living in the community who have aged out of the foster care system.

Point In Time Count

Every two years, during the last 10 days of January, communities across the country conduct comprehensive counts of their homeless populations to measure the prevalence of homelessness in their communities. Communities collect information on individuals and families sleeping in emergency shelters and transitional housing, as well as people sleeping on the streets, in cars, in abandoned properties, or in other places not meant for human habitation.

 

The County of Santa Clara, the City of San Jose, the other cities in Santa Clara County, and the Continuum of Care worked in conjunction with Applied Survey Research (ASR) to conduct the Santa Clara County Homeless Census and Survey. The 2019 reports of this effort is available below.

Santa Clara County Point in Time Count 

City of San Jose Point in Time Count

Get Involved

Learn more about homelessness from our newsroom.

Volunteer to help at our locations.

Donate to help end homelessness for our clients.

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