SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Santa Clara County’s homeless program will place 375 additional beds in three shelters in response to the deaths of four homeless people attributed to cold weather since Nov. 28, a spokeswoman said Friday.
Jenny Niklaus, spokeswoman for EHC Lifebuilders, a non-profit that coordinates the county’s homeless programs, said the extra beds would be in place in its shelters in San Jose, Sunnyvale and Gilroy until Monday “while the cold weather is here.”
“We want to try to get folks in shelter who need shelter,” Niklaus said.
“What’s really important is that this should not be happening in this community,” she said.
Niklaus spoke at a news conference held Friday afternoon at the sheriff’s office in San Jose with county health officer Dr. Sara Cody and Lt. Dave Lera, assistant division commander for the county medical examiner’s office.
Four homeless people died from hypothermia, the first on Nov. 28, then one on Monday and two on Wednesday, based the results of autopsies, according to Lera.
All of the homeless men who died from exposure were male and ranged in age from their late 40s to 50s. Three passed away in San Jose and one in Saratoga, Lera said.