SF sees slightly warmer temps than expected, but shelters still welcome homeless 

click to enlarge St. Anthony's guest services employee Andrew Nauer kneels on the floor of the foundation's dining room on Golden Gate Ave. setting up one of approximately 70 cots donated by the American Red Cross. - MIKE KOOZMIN/THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Mike Koozmin/The S.F. Examiner
  • St. Anthony's guest services employee Andrew Nauer kneels on the floor of the foundation's dining room on Golden Gate Ave. setting up one of approximately 70 cots donated by the American Red Cross.

San Francisco saw temperatures slightly higher than the anticipated coldest New Year's Day morning weather since 1961, but The City's homeless were still treated to a warm night's sleep in places not normally open overnight.

On Wednesday, city officials implemented its Cold Snap Protocol for the third night this winter season that maximizes the resources of every shelter in San Francisco.

The new dining room at St. Anthony Foundation, which typically closes in the early afternoon each day, reopened from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday to allow guests to stay indoors. It was the third time the dining room has stayed open overnight since opening last fall.

About 45 of the some 60 cots brought in by the American Red Cross were used, which Barry Stenger, the foundation's executive director, said was likely due to another shelter in The City reopening earlier than anticipated as well as the slightly warmer-than-anticipated weather.

"It wasn't as cold as people thought it was going to be," Stenger said. "If it had been as cold as they had predicted, [we] probably would have had more people."

The National Weather Service had forecast a low of 39 degrees between 4 and 6 a.m. Thursday, but the coldest point actually came between 6 and 7 a.m. with a low of 41 degrees, said forecaster Bob Benjamin. San Francisco was expected to warm up Thursday night, likely seeing a low of 43 degrees.

Before leaving Thursday morning, guests at St. Anthony were given a homemade knit hat and a blanket to keep, as well as a breakfast of oatmeal and coffee, said Stenger.

About The Author

Laura Dudnick

Bio:
Laura Dudnick, a Bay Area native, covers education and planning for The San Francisco Examiner. She previously worked as a senior local editor for Patch.com, and as the San Mateo County bureau reporter and weekend editor for Bay City News Service.
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