(KTSF by Michelle Yue)
Today, the Community Homeless Alliance Ministry (CHAM) in San Jose asked the community to donate blankets, comforters, and jackets to help the homeless survive the cold winter weather.
CHAM administrator Mary Quintin said that when the Bay Area experiences a cold spell, it often means death or severe illness for homeless people.
According to governmental statistics, there are about 7,000 homeless people in San Jose. However, there are less than 2,000 shelter beds in the city, meaning about 5,000 homeless people have to spend cold winter nights outside.
Quintin stressed that as the economic slowdown drags on, the number of homeless people will continue to rise. She notes, “There are now more and more homeless families with children. Some people have a tendency to stereotype homeless people, saying that somehow they brought it on themselves. When you have children out there, it is irrefutable that it is not their fault that they are homeless. They need our help.”
CHAM member Thomas Wagner explains that because the government has cut back on social programs to help the homeless, community support is even more important.
In addition to blankets and winter clothes, CHAM is asking people to donate sleeping bags, personal hygiene kits, batteries, and canned food.
Anyone interested in donating to the homeless should directly contact CHAM at 408-2954463.
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