Oakland opens 50-bed winter shelter

The City of Oakland opened a winter shelter last week with 50 beds, a city official said.

The shelter opened Nov. 16 at the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul at 675 23rd Street and the shelter will stay open until April 15, 2016, according to city officials.

A person without a place to sleep can get a bed through nine referring agencies, such as Bay Area Community Services at 559 16th St., City Team at 722 Washington St. and the East Oakland Community Project at 7515 International Blvd.

City Team’s Operations Manager Marla Cox said:

“It’s like gold.”

A person who gets a voucher will have somewhere to go each night until April 15, 2016, Cox said.

Oakland’s Community Housing Services Manager Susan Shelton said to keep the bed a person has to come each night.

The other referring agencies are Health Care for the Homeless, Oakland Housing Assistance Center on the sixth floor of 250 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Operation Dignity in suite 103 of 160 Franklin St., Saint Vincent de Paul Community Center at 2272 San Pablo Ave., Veterans Affairs Behavioral Health Clinic at 525 21st St. and Berkeley Food and Housing Project, which can be reached at (510) 649-4965, ext. 605.

A person in need of shelter can go to one of the referring agencies and get a voucher if one is available, Shelton said.

The number of available beds may change each night and the shelter takes some walkups, Shelton said.

The shelter has five beds for people who police find sleeping on the street, Shelton said.

Additional shelters in Oakland include the Crossroads shelter at 7515 International Blvd., through the East Oakland Community Project, city officials said.

Also, City Team at 722 Washington St. operates a shelter with dinner and breakfast and the Salvation Army operates a shelter at 2794 Garden St. for families, which can be a single mother and child or married couples with children, according to city officials.