Our Story

History of the Gilroy Compassion Center

 In 2011, a group of concerned citizens in South County came together to address the absence of critical service for the homeless, and formed The Gilroy Compassion Center to take the lead in addressing the problem of homelessness in South County.

Since 2011 the Compassion Center has opened South County’s only Day Center for the homeless, operated numerous Homeless Connect events, developed and piloted piloted the Almost Home Camping Program, partnered with Santa Clara County and St. Josephs Family Center to provide Cold Weather shelter, and partnered with Morgan Hill Police Department and the Morgan Hill Faith Community to pilot a Safe Parking Program. The Compassion Center has been an integral part of three biannual Point-in-Time counts in South County.

In 2017, Gilroy Residents voted Gilroy Compassion Center the Best Community Organization in the Gilroy Dispatch Best of Gilroy awards.

Hours of Operation

The Day Center is open year-round from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m., 

Monday through Friday.

  • From December 1 - March 31 extended hours run from 6 a.m. - noon, Monday - Friday.
  • Saturday Suppers are offered every Saturday from April through November at 3 p.m.

Team Members

Board of Directors

  • Reid Lerner, Chair
  • Jan Bernstein Chargin, Vice Chair
  • Pastor Debbie Rivera
  • Dale Cooper
  • Geneve Flores

Advisory Board

  • Mike Beasley
  • Bill Faus
  • Dirk Caudill
  • Jeff Wagner
  • Shawn Weymouth 


  • Dale Cooper, Executive Director (interim/volunteer)
  • Janessa Villareal, Grants and Programs Manager
  • Francesca Paist, Operations Manager
  • Lisa Dimas-Jensen, Day Center Case Manager
  • Celia Hoeft, FOCUS Case Manager
  • Melissa Cubangbang, Creeks Team Coordinator and Driver
  • Sam Brown, Almost Home Coordinator
  • Linda Mata, Front Desk Coordinator