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Where to Find Shelter From Rain and Floods in the Bay Area

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An RV sits in water on Wood Street in Oakland on Jan. 5, 2023, after recent storms contributed to flooding in the area. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)

Moderate to heavy rain is expected throughout the Bay Area beginning Monday evening as yet another atmospheric river storm approaches. The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for the entire region through late Tuesday night, along with a high wind warning.

Flooding concerns are especially serious just south of the Bay Area where late Friday night, the Pajaro River, which borders Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, breached a levee and flooded the Pajaro River Valley. Evacuation orders remain in place for the roughly 1,700 residents of Pajaro as an incoming atmospheric river is set to bring more heavy rain and flooding concerns as early as Monday night, according to the National Weather Service. Here’s where to find evacuation shelters.

As many unhoused people in the Bay Area also struggle to stay dry, several warming centers are open this week, with year-round shelters continuing their operations.

Jump straight to shelters available during Bay Area storms in:

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'A nightmare'

Cities across the region have opened warming shelters this winter to help get unhoused people inside. But many unhoused folks aren't willing to leave their belongings exposed to the weather.

"It's a nightmare, when it rains here," said Lydia Blumberg, a resident of West Oakland’s Wood Street Commons encampment, after the New Year's Eve storm. "My site is entirely flooded."

Advocates have expressed deep concern about residents’ safety.

Andrea Burton of HomeFirst, one of the largest providers of services for people experiencing homelessness in Santa Clara County, told KQED's Rachael Myrow on Monday that the organization is active, especially during storms.

"Our staff are literally in the rain and dark and flooding areas and at risk trying to get the word out there to educate people ... then, we transport them, and the belongings that we can manage, to a safe place," Burton said. "Oftentimes, that is a HomeFirst location. We are the largest provider of cold-weather shelter in the county going back over 20 years."

Talya Husbands-Hankin, founder of the advocacy organization Love and Justice in the Streets, echoed the risks of being exposed to the elements.

"This really just exposes how dangerous it is to be living outside when we have a climate emergency going on and people have no way to dry off or get warm," Husbands-Hankin told KQED in January. "It’s really, really frightening."

She urged those who want to help to pass out tarps and share information with unhoused neighbors about where they can go for shelter. Other advocates have suggested warm blankets and clothes, socks, rain boots, rain jackets, tents, flashlights, batteries and other warm-weather gear.

Another way to help, said Husbands-Hankin, is to directly ask people what they need.

"And then figure out how to go and get it for them," she said.

Keep reading for where residents can access warming shelters in the Bay Area.

Shelters in San Francisco

San Francisco has rotating shelters available through the Interfaith Winter Shelter Program, which runs through March 26. Please note the shelters below have different opening and closing dates:

Canon Kip Senior Center
705 Natoma Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Available Friday, March 3 through Sunday, March 26.

  • Doors open at 6 p.m.; dinner at 7 p.m.; shelter closes at 7 a.m.

Public libraries around San Francisco are also available as warming centers. Find a branch of the San Francisco Public Library near you.

Shelters in Alameda County

St. Vincent de Paul
675 23rd Street, West Oakland, CA 94612

  • Open 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. Day programs five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday.
  • Shelter beds can be secured through referral, reservation and walk-up on a first-come, first-served basis during the hours above.
  • Capacity for up to 100 people.
  • Contact St. Vincent de Paul directly by phone: (510) 638-7600.

Alameda Warming Center
1700 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda, CA 94501

  • Shelter is located at Christ Episcopal Church.
  • Typically open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening 5 p.m.–7 a.m. (days and hours expanded during winter storms).
  • Dinner is provided at 6:30 p.m. and breakfast at 6:30 a.m. On Wednesdays and Fridays, showers are provided 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
  • Toiletries and clothes are available, along with limited overnight storage for belongings.
  • One approved and screened pet is welcome per guest. Space is limited.
  • Contact Marichelle Alcantara by phone: (510) 832-1382, ext. 123.

Livermore Warming Center, Veterans Memorial Building
522 S. L Street, Livermore, CA 94550

  • Open 6 p.m.–8 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis, serving adults from Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin.
  • Shelter is open through April 30, when there's an expected forecast of overnight temperatures at or below 45 degrees and/or a 20% or higher chance of rain.
  • Open to anyone; expected to accommodate 15–20 people each evening.
  • CityServe does case management; Abode Services helps with street medical team.
  • No showers are available at this shelter.
  • Call (510) 224-3755 for preregistration.

First Presbyterian Church of Hayward in Castro Valley
2490 Grove Ave., Castro Valley, CA 94546

  • Open year-round. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., dinner is served. Check-in ends at 8 p.m.
  • Bagged breakfast served; you must be off the property by 7 a.m.
  • Possibility to park and live in your car on-site.
  • Guests must be able to care for themselves (i.e., transfer, toilet, eat and dress).
  • Pets will be admitted if they are on leash or in a crate.
  • Call first for availability: (510) 634-4750.

South Hayward Parish
27287 Patrick Avenue, Hayward, CA 94544

In Hayward, community members living unsheltered or displaced due to flooding and other storm effects — or aware of someone in need of assistance — may contact the City of Hayward Emergency Operations Center by phone at (510) 583-2182.

Local service providers also are requesting donations of pocket warmers, ponchos, umbrellas, plastic and rubber shoe covers, and raincoats. Please direct donations to Bay Area Community Services (590 B Street, Hayward, CA 94541), open until 4:30 p.m. Monday–Friday.

Community Christian Church
17640 Crest Ave., Morgan Hill, CA 95037

  • Available from 7 p.m.–7 a.m.
  • Overnight warming center.

Sunnyvale Public Library
665 W. Olive Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94086

  • Available March 9 from 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
  • Overnight warming center.

Central Park Library
2635 Homestead Rd., Santa Clara, CA 95051

  • Available Thursday, March 9 from noon–7 p.m.; Friday, March 10 from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.; Saturday, March 11 from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Cupertino Library
10800 Torre Ave., Cupertino, CA 95014

  • Available Thursday, March 9 from 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Friday, March 10 from 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Saturday, March 11 from 10 a.m.–6:30 p.m.

Gilroy Library
350 W. 6th St., Gilroy, CA 95020

  • Available Thursday, March 9 from 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Friday, March 10 from 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Saturday, March 11 from 10 a.m.–7 p.m.

Los Altos Library
13 S. San Antonio Rd., Los Altos, CA 94022

  • Available Thursday, March 9 from 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Friday, March 10 from 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Saturday, March 11 from 10 a.m.–7 p.m.

Milpitas Library
160 N. Main St., Milpitas, CA 95035

  • Available Thursday, March 9 from 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Friday, March 10 from 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Saturday, March 11 from 10 a.m.–7 p.m.

Mission Branch Library
1098 Lexington St., Santa Clara, CA 95050

  • Available Thursday, March 9 from 12 p.m.–5 p.m.

Morgan Hill Library
660 W. Main Ave., Morgan Hill, CA 95037

  • Available Thursday, March 9 from 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Friday, March 10 from 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Saturday, March 11 from 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Northside Branch Library
695 Moreland Way, Santa Clara, CA 95054

  • Available Thursday, March 9 from 12 p.m.–7 p.m., Friday, March 10 from 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Saturday, March 11 from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Santa Clara Senior Center
1303 Fremont St., Santa Clara, CA 95050

  • Available Thursday, March 9 from 7 a.m.–3 p.m., Friday, March 10 from 7 a.m.–3 p.m.

Saratoga Library
13650 Saratoga Ave., Saratoga, CA 95070

  • Available Thursday, March 9 from 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Friday, March 10 from 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Saturday, March 11 from 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Explore a list of warming centers in Santa Clara County available during the day.

For shelter placements, Santa Clara's Office of Supportive Housing asks that you contact the county's Here4You Hotline at (408) 385-2400, staffed 9 a.m.–7 p.m., seven days a week.

Please note that the following shelters are unable to accept families with children:

CityTeam (for men)
1174 Old Bayshore Highway, San José, CA 95112

  • Call (408) 288-2153.
  • Intake begins 5:30 p.m., first-come, first-served.

HomeFirst – Boccardo Reception Center
2011 Little Orchard Street, San José, CA 95125

  • Call (408) 294-2100.
  • Intake begins 3:30 p.m., first-come, first-served.

LifeMoves – Georgia Travis House (for women)
260 Commercial Street, San José, CA 95112

  • Call (408) 271-1630 for more information.

LifeMoves – Montgomery Street Inn (for men)
358 North Montgomery Street, San José, CA 95110

  • Call (408) 271-5160.
  • Program assessments Monday through Friday at 12:30 p.m.

Salvation Army – Emmanuel House (for men)
405 North Fourth Street, San José, CA 95112

  • Call (408) 282-1175.
  • Suggested arrival time is between 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

HomeFirst – Veterans Services
2011 Little Orchard Street, San José, CA 95125

  • Call (408) 510-7522.
  • Beds for veterans are on a first-come, first-served basis; check in at 3:30 p.m.

Shelters in Sonoma County

West County Community Services, Guerneville Veterans Memorial Building
16255 First Street, Guerneville, CA 95446

  • Contact this shelter by phone at (707) 823-1640, ext.115.

Social Advocates for Youth, Dream Center at Santa Rosa Junior College
2447 Summerfield Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95405

  • A nightly shelter reserved for youth ages 18–24 to escape the cold temperatures, open through March 31.
  • Call the crisis line before 5 p.m. at (888) 729-0012 to reserve a spot, or drop in at Coffee House Teen Shelter at 1243 Ripley Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401, before 5 p.m. to reserve a spot.
  • After reserving a spot, youth must arrive at Coffee House Teen Shelter from 6 p.m.–7 p.m. for transportation to Dream Center.

Homeless Action Sonoma (HAS) Navigation Center and Warming Station
867 West Napa Street, CA 95476 (site of the former Community Café)

  • Open 2 p.m.–10 a.m., seven days a week.

Shelters in Contra Costa County

County officials say that anyone needing assistance with getting placed in a shelter should call the Contra Costa Crisis Center directly at 211. People in need of help finding resources in Contra Costa County also can text the word “HOPE” to 20121.

Concord Service Center Overnight Warming Center
2047 Arnold Industrial Way, Suite A, Concord, CA 94520

Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP)
165 22nd Street, Richmond, CA 94801

Trinity Center Winter Evening Program
1888 Trinity Ave., Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Delta Landing
2101 Loveridge Rd., Pittsburg, CA 94565

Bay Area Rescue Mission
200 Macdonald Ave., Richmond, CA 94801

Contra Costa County says its outreach teams are in need of sleeping bags, gloves and beanies, tarps and blankets (in order of importance). Donations can be dropped off at 2400 Bisso Lane, Suite D, Concord, CA 94520.

Shelters in Marin County

Marin County is activating its severe weather emergency shelter for people experiencing homelessness.

Marin Health and Wellness Campus
3240 Kerner Boulevard, San Rafael, CA 94901

  • The warming center will be open for three nights, from Wednesday evening through Saturday morning, 5 p.m.–6:30 a.m.
  • Individuals are encouraged to sign in by 8 p.m.

People in need also may contact these agencies for services:

Family Center (shelter for families)
430 Mission Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901
Call (415) 457-2115 for more information.
TTY English: (866) 660-4288
TTY Spanish: (866) 288-1311

Jonathan’s Place (shelter for adults)
190 Mill Street, San Rafael, CA 94901
Call (415) 457-9651 or (800) 428-1488 for more information.
TTY English: (866) 660-4288
TTY Spanish: (866) 288-1311

St. Vincent de Paul Society Free Dining Room
820 B Street, San Rafael, CA 94901

  • Open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., serving free breakfast and lunch.
  • Call (415) 454-3303 for more information.

Ritter Center
16 Ritter Street, San Rafael, CA 94912

  • Showers, information, emergency clothing and food, and laundry are available.
  • Call (415) 457-8182 for more information.

KQED's Carly Severn and Spencer Whitney contributed to this story.

An earlier version of this story was published on Jan. 5.

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