Cooling centers open for extreme heat in the South Bay

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. -- Extreme heat in the South Bay this week is creating dangerous conditions for homeless populations in the South Bay.

Temperatures will reach between 98 to 103 degrees in the Santa Clara Valley this week, according to the National Weather Service, which has issued an advisory through Tuesday for record or near-record heat.

RELATED: East Bay communities find ways to beat the heat

Santa Clara County has over 40 cooling centers located around the county in San Jose, Cupertino, Campbell, Gilroy, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale.

Most of these locations are open until nighttime, or until afternoon temperatures drop. County workers are also conducting extra outreach to distribute water at homeless encampments and share information about AlertSCC, a new system that sends digital alerts about emergency services.

Pastor Scott Wagers of CHAM Deliverance Ministry traveled to encampments around San Jose Monday afternoon with water supplies for homeless residents.

"When it warms up quickly, just like when it gets cold quickly, the homeless are always caught off guard," Wagers said.

Many homeless residents are in "survival mode" and are not aware about sudden weather changes or county services, he said. According to a county study of homeless deaths between 2011 and 2016, four people died of
heat exposure in July 2016.

"I hope no one's in jeopardy today ... we're trying to keep people alive," Wagers said.

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Cooling centers in San Jose are located at six county hospital locations, as well as Cypress, Camden, Mayfair, Roosevelt and Seven Trees community centers. The hospital locations open at 9 a.m. through the evening,
and the community centers are open from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Other South Bay cooling centers include libraries and senior, recreation and sports centers.

The county is in the process of updating its full list of cooling centers, available online.
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