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Our Guiding Principles & Best Practices

  • Housing First: Our participants are housed immediately without any preconditions; once housed we work on stabilization by addressing the issues that led them to homelessness (E.g., participant does not need to be housing ready).

  • Harm Reduction: We focus on addressing the consequences of unhealthy behavior, until the participant is ready to address the behavior itself (E.G., needle exchange).

  • Low Barrier: At our interim and emergency shelter site we eliminate as many requirements as we can to ease entry (E.g., entrance does not require sobriety). Low barrier does not mean no rules.

A New Page for our Santa Clara County Solutions coming soon!

Our Programs & Services are Represented in Two Key Areas
Emergency & Permanent Housing


Emergency Housing

Shelter Programs: Emergency placement, typically in a congregate setting for people seeking shelter right now.  
Street-Based Services: Outreach and street case management efforts support the unsheltered by offering resources, linking to services, and encouraging shelter. Outreach is also tasked with locating people when selected for housing programs.

Interim Housing: Temporary housing opportunities in private or semi-private units not intended for a permanent stay. 

Permanent Housing

​Rapid Rehousing (RRH): Program offering time-limited rental assistance and services designed to support people with housing navigation and stabilization. The participant becomes responsible for rent at end of the program. Our teams build relationships with local landlords to fulfill the needs of this program.

Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH): A model that combines low-barrier affordable housing, health care, and supportive services to help individuals with a disability in achieving housing stability.

Prevention & Early Intervention: Strategizes to slow the influx of individuals and families entering homelessness and quickly resolves housing crisis for newly unhoused persons. This is typically done with one-time or very short-term intensive case management.


Looking for Services? 

Call the Here4You Hotline: 408-385-2400

Homelessness Prevention Services: 408-786-8538 or

Program Highlights

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.

More Info
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.

Emergency Interim Housing (EIH)

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

More Info

EIH Eligibility

•Must be an adult 18 years of age or older

•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

Homeless housing amenity - HomeFirst
Emergency interim housing unit for homeless.

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.

Emergency interim housing for homeless.

•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

Bridge housing communities - outdoor amenities - homeless housing
Emergency interim homeless housing computer lab.

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.

EIH Anchor

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.

More Info
Emergency interim housing for homeless.

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.


BHC Mabury

1410 Mabury Road, San Jose, CA 95133

Felipe BHC - now open

928 Felipe Ave, San Jose, CA 95122

BHC Eligibility Criteria

  1. Must be a single adult.

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

  3. 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

How You Can Help


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


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


  • 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

Community Concerns

To express concerns about the BHC site, email:



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 Programs 

HomeFirst has operated Santa Clara County's Cold Weather Shelter Program (CWSP) for nearly three decades. During the 2022 winter season, you will find a CWSP in Mountain View, CA. The program is activated from late November 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.

Cold Weather Shelter:

(Referral only — no drop-ins) 

748 Mercy St.
Mountain View, CA 94041
Call the Here4You Hotline: 


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

Cold weather homeless shelter - Trinity United Methodist Church

Overnight Warming Locations:

West Valley Branch Library

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. Walk-ins are not guaranteed a bed. Please contact the Homeless Helpline at (408) 510-7600 for additional information.

2022 - 2023 Overnight Warming Locations

Roosevelt Community Center

901 E. Santa Clara St
San Jose, CA 95116

Hours of operation: 8 PM - 7 AM

(participants must check-in by 10 PM)

West Valley Branch Library

1243 San Tomas Aquino Rd
San Jose, CA 95117

Hours of operation: 8 PM - 7 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:


To make a financial contribution please visit our donation page or contact B. Michael McFarland, Chief Development Officer, at (408) 539-2121 or

Donate Supplies

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

Cold Weather Shelter Program Wish List:

  • Blankets

  • Hats

  • Gloves

  • Scarves

  • Rain Ponchos

  • Hand Warmers

*For men & women in all sizes.


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 permanent housing services and more for families across the county.

We operate the Sobrato House Youth Center for transitional aged youth (18-24) in downtown San Jose and partner with Bill Wilson Center to support young adults living in the community who have aged out of the foster care system.

TRUST Field Response Program

TRUST is a community service that helps Santa Clara County residents during an urgent mental health or substance use situation. Our call center and field response teams are available 24/7 to answer calls for help.  TRUST stands for “Trusted Response Urgent Support Team.” It is a partnership between three social service agencies in Santa Clara County: Momentum for Health, Pacific Clinics, and HomeFirst. Our team is specially trained to help people who need urgent help for mental health and substance use conditions. 

TRUST’s team of responders includes behavioral health staff from community organizations. These staff have knowledge and experience assisting people struggling with behavioral health

Our field response team works together to meet the unique needs of each person and those around them. We treat every situation on a case-by-case basis, providing responsive care without involving
law enforcement and triaging other teams when needed.

Ask for the TRUST team!

Call 800-704-0900 and press 1 (call 988 for local 408, 650, and 669 area codes). *Operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

TRUST field response program logo

In partnership with

Pacific Clinics logo
Momentom for Health logo
HomeFirst related logo
California Mental Health Services Act emblem

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.

Two people talking about homeless housing programs at Homefirst.
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