SAN JOSE (KCBS) – The city will open several warming centers Saturday and Sunday during the chilliest parts of the cold snap, officials said.

But many elderly and homeless decided not to wait for a chance to get a break from the cold.

George Stannard said the 74 degree at the lounge in the Willows Senior Center was much warmer than the inside of his mobile home.

“Their walls are like paper, you know. You’ve always got the heater on,” he said.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

And this cold still doesn’t compare to anything in the mid-west or Canada, Stannard said with a nod to the bright red maple leaf on his cap.

The National Weather Service declared winter weather advisories for many parts of the Bay Area, including the Santa Cruz Mountains, with snowfall possible around elevations of 1,000 feet.

The Roosevelt Community Center downtown was already filling up with the homeless by lunchtime Friday.

“If it’s going to get really cold out, people have to have a place to go. You can’t leave them sleeping under bridges and bushes because they’re going to die,” said John, a homeless man getting ready to volunteer in the kitchen.

Santa Clara County officials said 51 homeless men and women died on the streets of Santa Clara County in 2010.

The 10 warming centers will be open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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