Updates on City of San José Services and/or Operations . (English | Español | Tiếng Việt | 中文)

Volunteer & Get Involved

Opportunities to Help the Homeless Community

Please review our Homeless Resource Guide for a list of relevant government agencies and nonprofits.  Many of these organizations are looking for volunteers, food donations and financial support. Click here for a Spanish version of the guide.

Safe Parking

The City of San José has an ordinance in place that enables non-profits, businesses, faith organizations and service clubs to establish Safe Parking Areas in their parking lots.

More than 1,000 people sleep in vehicles on any given night in San José. These people are vulnerable to assault and robbery among many difficulties that come with living in a vehicle. Safe Parking Areas provide these families and individuals with safe places to park overnight.

Any organization interested in creating a Safe Parking Area should contact Lorena Diez in the City’s Housing Department at (408) 975-4456 or The process for getting started includes a simple and FREE registration and inspection of the proposed parking lot.

Temporary and incidental shelter

The City of San José has an ordinance in place that enables non-profits, businesses, faith organizations and service clubs to use space in their facilities as temporary shelters for homeless individuals.

If your organization is interested in establishing a shelter, the Housing Department can offer guidance on what is needed to demonstrate compliance with health and safety standards, and provide best practice information on how to operate a temporary shelter.

Please contact Lorena Diez at the San José Housing Department with questions about the Temporary and Incidental Shelter Program. Lorena can be reached at 408-975-4456 or

food service Locations for homeless residents in the Downtown San José area

This is a map of established meal providers around St. James Park. These organizations often need volunteer assistance.

Program to feed the hungry near st. james park

Opening Doors 2020 operates a lunch program in downtown San José for hungry individuals who frequent St. James Park. The lunch program is open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. It provides nutritious meals at the African American Community Services Agency, located at 304 North 6th Street. Meals are served indoors, in a safe location, near St. James Park. This program also provides access to basic needs and other safety net resources.

This program is always looking for volunteers and referrals from community groups, students, faith-based organizations, clubs, corporations, and other nonprofits.

For more information and/or sign up to volunteer, please visit


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