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Santa Clara County is among the top five counties nationwide both in its number of unhoused residents (over 9,700 in 2019) and the percentage of unhoused individuals who sleep outdoors without shelter (almost 82%). These numbers are a steep increase from the past few years: the unhoused population increased by 48% from 2015 to 2019, with a larger proportion of this population being unsheltered than in 2015. With homelessness affecting such a large and growing population, we believe that bringing together the housed and unhoused to form a community and to engage in service that centers the unhoused is not only necessary, but enriching for all involved. This is where Heart and Home Collaborative comes in.
Heart and Home Collaborative (H+H) brings the entire community together to respond to the immediate needs of our homeless neighbors. Our core values are respect, participatory planning, and friendship.
H+H's cold-weather women's shelter relies on funding and volunteer power from area residents to provide a warm, safe space for 15 women to sleep each night. Funds donated to H+H will be used for insurance, permits, and overnight staff wages for this year’s shelter program (space and most supplies are donated) as well as hopefully extending our shelter season.
About This Cause
Heart and Home Collaborative is a nonprofit that provides seasonal winter shelter for fifteen unhoused women in the greater Palo Alto community. We partner with Palo Alto congregations to provide space to sleep in a professionally staffed environment from 7pm-7am; mattresses and bedding; dinner; breakfast and to-go lunches; daytime storage for 1 bag of belongings; laundry service; a weekly shower truck; and weekly house meetings. Heart and Home is unique in its approach to shelter because of its client-centered model. We understand that our shelter guests are our experts, and give them a leading role in shaping their shelter experience.
Inspired by personal conversation with members of the unhoused community in Palo Alto, the shelter was founded by Stanford students in 2012. Today, our network of volunteers comes from the Stanford student body, Palo Alto church attendees and other community members, and local high school students. Through sharing meals and personal conversation, friendships among guests and volunteers readily form and thrive in the safe, respectful, and mutually supportive environment that Heart and Home Collaborative strives to foster.
Homelessness in Palo Alto has increased by 48% from 2015 to 2019. Your support is integral as we strive to meet this growing need.
*HUD's 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress