Compassion Park is a major project supported by a public private partnership to help find homes for homeless individuals and families. The Gilroy Compassion Center is the lead Principal Investigator for this project.  The Gilroy Compassion Center was established in 2011.  We are working as part of a public/private partnership to build a Compassion Park for homeless individuals and families.

About The Gilroy Compassion Center


A pathway to stability that maintains self-respect and recognizes the dignity of each human being.


  • Compassion for those who need help
  • Respect for people of different faiths, perspectives, and abilities
  • Cooperation among individuals and organizations working towards the same goals
  • Partnership rather than duplication


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.

Goals and Objectives

  • Develop a place for people without housing to stay that is safe, clean and respectful of both clients and the community
  • Provide basic needs such as bathrooms, showers, laundry and food
  • Provide a one-stop day center with referrals and resources
  • Develop an income-generating program to provide operating revenue for the center
  • Provide job training and work readiness opportunities

Board of Directors 2017-2018

  • Jan Bernstein Chargin, Chair
  • Reid Lerner, Vice Chair
  • Tony Mannino, Treasurer
  • Pastor Debbie Rivera
  • Scott Jackson
  • Jeff Wagner
  • Shawn Weymouth

Advisory Board

  • John Taft
  • Dirk Caudill


  • John Perales, Executive Director
  • Janessa Villaruel, Case Manager
  • Lisa Dimas-Jensen, Case Manager