Contra Costa Adds Extra Shelter Beds for Cold Snap
January 12, 2007
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With special funding from the State, Contra Costa County has added more than three dozen extra shelter beds to help people who are homeless stay warm during the current cold snap.
Contra Costa Health Services is using about $10,000 to pay for food and staff needed to support the extra beds. The money is provided by the County's Employment and Human Services Department in Community Services Block Grant funds from the State Department of Community Services and Development.
"This is a very vulnerable population at any time. But during cold weather, people who are homeless have no place to go to get warm, stay hydrated or do any of the things that people do to protect their health and their children," says Lavonna Martin, Assistant Director of the County's Homeless Program.
Extra beds will be available for the next several days through a number of local service providers. Besides beds, people who are homeless will also have access to other services. In order to locate shelter, adults should call 800-799-6599. Families who need shelter should call 925-228-6920. Both numbers are answered around the clock.
Martin says Health Services Homeless Outreach Project to Encampments (HOPE) teams will be contacting people living outside to notify them about the availability of shelter beds and services. Health Services developed a special flyer to information the homeless community about where to go to get help and measures they can take to stay warm.
Besides information to the homeless community, Health Services has also faxed information to 400 community organizations about how to protect against the cold and posted information on Health Services website (cchealth.org) to inform the general public.
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- Lavonna Martin