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How You Can Help

Opportunities to Help the Homeless Community

  • Volunteer at a Permitted Food Serving Organization
  • Donate items to Local Food Banks and Shelters
  • Support a local homeless service agency. Our Homeless Resource Guide (Spanish)
  • Become informed of City Resources and help spread awareness.

Available Food Locations in the Downtown San José area

  • Map of established meal providers around St. James Park


Planning a Special Event at San José Parks

We promote health and public safety in our parks and strive to make them welcoming for all to enjoy. The Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services' Special Park Use Unit permits special events in the City of San José. Find out more if you plan to host an event in a San José park.

Permits help keep our parks clean and healthy by:

  • Ensuring permitted events take place as planned.
  • Creating opportunity for residents to enjoy park amenities and events.
  • Eliminating poorly handled food and foodborne illness.
  • Reducing large amounts of food waste and loose items that litter parks.
  • Reducing loitering groups which can create a safety hazard for park users.

New Program to Feed the Hungry in the St. James Park

In July 2019, Opening Doors 2020 launched a new lunch program in downtown San José for the hungry individuals that frequent St. James Park.  The lunch program offered on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, will provide healthy nutritious meals at the African American Community Services Agency, located at 304 North 6th Street.  Meals will be provided indoors, in a safe and centralized location that is adjacent to St. James Park, with access to basic needs and other safety net resources.

This new lunch program will need volunteers and volunteer organizations, especially groups, students, faith-based organizations, clubs, corporations, and other nonprofits who currently provide meals in St. James Park.

For more information and/or sign up to volunteer, please visit www.od2020.com

Applicable Municipal Codes


13.44.090 SJMC -Park Rule 2 Exclusion or Removal of Certain Activities, Animals and Materials -  “No person shall, or shall allow any minor under his/her supervision to:  ff. Distribute any food items…to the general public within a City of San José Park, except as part of a Large Scale, Medium Scale or Small Scale Event, for which a permit has been issued by the Special Park Use (SPU) Unit of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services (PRNS) and where the distribution of food….is subordinate to the primary purpose of the event.”  

13.44.020 SJMC
- Rules and regulations - Compliance required. -No person shall disobey or fail to observe any rule, regulation or lawful direction promulgated or made by the director of the department of recreation, parks and community services pursuant to the following authorization, of which such person has actual notice, however given, or of which reasonable notice has been given by appropriate sign or notice in a park.

10.10.010 SJMC – Pedestrian Facilitation Zone – Sitting or lying down on sidewalks prohibited 10:00 a.m. to midnight.