Helping to End Homelessness

In From the Cold: HomeFirst to Host Seventh Annual Fundraising Gala
By Robert Haugh

On November 10, HomeFirst Santa Clara County hosts their seventh annual fundraising gala at the GlassHouse in San Jose.

“For those of us who enjoy the change of seasons, the approach of winter may conjure heartwarming images, memories and plans for those cold days and icy nights. But for our clients – especially those who do not have a safe, secure place to find shelter from the cold – the scenario is completely different,” states HomeFirst Santa Clara County CEO Andrea Urton.

The fundraising gala kicks off the 2016 “In From the Cold Campaign.” For five months – November through March – HomeFirst SCC will focus on solutions specific to providing shelter from the cold.

In Sunnyvale and Gilroy, they will provide warmth and safety to adults and families through Cold Weather Shelters.

“The solutions are actually within our grasp; what we need is greater awareness and commitment to end this crisis. Our goal for “In From the Cold” is to educate, inspire and engage,” adds Urton.

Veterans’ services are another major component of HomeFirst programs. The featured speaker at the gala is Ed Howard, a US Navy Veteran, who once had a solid career in technology, a wife and a home, yet found himself homeless. Today, Howard is a valued member of the HomeFirst staff, helping fellow veterans every day.

Community leaders speaking at the event include San José Mayor Sam Liccardo and President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, Dave Cortese. Together, they launched All the Way Home, an endeavor that HomeFirst supports enthusiastically, a project that strives to end veteran homelessness in our community by 2018.

Sal Pizarro, popular “Around Town” columnist for the Mercury News, serves as emcee.

The gala event began seven years ago as an “intimate party” hosted by Santa Clara County Tax Assessor Larry Stone and philanthropist John A. Sobrato.

“From the beginning, funds raised went to support our cold weather shelter programs … The need is still very real, not only for the cold weather season, but throughout the year … In addition to providing a place for folks to come in from the cold this winter, your support … will also move us closer to our long-term goal: ending homelessness in our County,” added Urton in the event program.

The event will feature music by Paulo Guitar, remarks by Pizarro, Urton, Liccardo, Cortese, a Dinner and several topics pertinent to the goals of HomeFirst.

Tickets are available at:


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