Emergency shelter beds were activated on Thursday Feb. 9, due to a significant weather system affecting much of the Bay Area.
The inclement weather in the area had raised public concerns, and the Center on Homelessness decided to provide a safe place for those who were in need.
“There are two types of programs,” said Charlie Hamilton, a spokesperson from LifeMoves, the organization behind the program. “The first is the family program, the person needs to be in San Mateo County and he or she needs to have a child who is five years old and under and [has] never been on the program before.”
The second program is geared towards helping a more a different, yet similar demographic.
“The second program is for homeless singles, which began from Nov. 15 through April,” Hamilton said. “This service will be open up among those dates depending on how severe the weather is.”
According to Hamilton, the organization has been providing these services for nine years. The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors are targeting to end homelessness within the district by 2020. They are hoping the shelter will be a good start to help those in need get their feet on the ground again.
The winter weather that hit the Bay Area in the last couple weeks has been harsh on not just the homeless, but the residents too.
“What they are offering to the homeless is great and helpful,” said Michaela Giles, a 19-year-old student from Skyline College. “The weather changed the way people are driving on the street and we are more cautious now than we are on a good sunny day.”
Giles continued, “that being said, a shelter for the homeless in such weather will at least help them to find warmth and be safe.”
It is important to know that the services will only be activated if the weather is tempestuous. For further information regarding the program, please visit http://hsa.smcgov.org/emergency-safety-net-assistance-cores.