Homeless Shelters Prep for Cold Weather

GILROY, Calif. - As the sunset, the temperatures dipped and the line to get into the Gilroy Armory Winter Shelter started getting longer.

"Its scary when its that cold," said one woman.

For many waiting in this line the services inside was more than they've had in a long time.

"Food, showers, shampoos, blankets, TVs," she said.

The Gilroy Armory opened Monday, by the EHC Life Builders, a network of shelters in Silicon Valley that provides emergency shelter options. Their mission is to provide shelter during the cold season. They open their shelters the Monday after Thanksgiving and stay open until March. 

"Most of the people if they didn't have the shelter would be out on the streets, in encampments, on creek beds so in times like this cold freeze people are at risk of hypothermia," said Hilary Barroga, Operations Coordinator.

Inside, there were mats for people to sleep on, free clothes to stay warm and a hot meal for everyone. Tina Rodriguez's first night at the Gilroy Armory was Tuesday night.

"It was beautiful, I slept well. Its a blessing from God that he has this for us," said Rodriguez.

In Monterey County existing shelters are going into an increment weather plan. Shelters plan to expand and if it reaches capacity all shelters have vouchers for local motels, no one will get turned away.

"They have a sense of relief, they know they are safe, they are in from the cold and they don't have to worry about what is going to happen to them tonight, they know they have a safe place to wake up to tomorrow morning and for us that's what really warms our hearts," said Barroga.

The freezing warning temperatures means the Gilroy Armory will allow people to stay in the shelter longer until temps warm up in the morning.

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