Coat and blanket drive for the Gilroy Compassion Center

The Gilroy Compassion Center, a burgeoning homeless shelter located at 8425 Monterey Road that serves South County, is now collecting coats and blankets to distribute to those in need as winter approaches.

Gently used coats, jackets, rain gear, blankets, sleeping bags and backpacks “will help make life more bearable for those without a warm, dry place to sleep,” a press release reminds. “The weather is growing colder and there is no emergency shelter in South County at this time of year.”

The National Guard Armory located at 8490 Wren Ave. is only open seasonally from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Nov. 28 through March 31.

Supporters of the Gilroy Compassion Center – a grassroots outreach organization offering food, clothes, shelter and support services – hope to mitigate the displaced downtime by eventually becoming a year-round homeless shelter open day and night.

In the meantime, people who are homeless are invited to visit the Compassion Center from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday.

Donations may be dropped off at the Compassion Center during hours of operation, or at the Gilroy Compassion Center booth at the Gilroy Farmers market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21 on the corner of Monterey and Seventh streets.

Now approaching its one-year anniversary since gaining its federal tax-exempt status Oct. 19, 2011, the Gilroy Compassion Center has since served 327 individuals with bathrooms, clothing, laundry, personal care items, referrals and connections to other services.

Volunteer opportunities are available. Other needs include new socks and underwear, umbrellas, shoes and men’s clothing. Monetary donations are gratefully accepted and may be sent to Gilroy Compassion Center, P.O. Box 233, Gilroy, CA 95021.

For more information, visit www.gilroycompassioncenter.org or call (408) 763-7120.

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