COVID-19 Homelessness Services
UPDATE - 7.2.20
The City is continuing to monitor encampments in Santa Rosa’s Downtown area following last week’s efforts to address encampments at the 101 underpasses and College Avenue and will focus next on encampments creating health and safety hazards in the Corporate Center Parkway area. Despite on-going efforts to provide individuals within these encampments with support and services, the hazards occurring within these encampments amid the COVID-19 emergency have reached a tipping point, prompting the City to activate its Homeless Encampment Assistance Program to address immediate health, environmental and safety issues.
Outreach is underway to engage individuals in the Corporate Center Parkway area into shelter and services at the City’s Samuel L. Jones Hall Homeless Shelter and the Safe Social Distancing Program in a section of the parking lot at Finley Community Center. Efforts to address illegal dumping into storm drains, vehicle code violations and criminal activity has been ongoing for a number of weeks. Resolution of encampments in this area is scheduled for mid-July barring unforeseen developments.
Additionally, a City Council study session on homeless services programming is planned for Tuesday, July 7th. The Study Session will include an overview of existing long-term programs, temporary emergency programs related to COVID-19 emergency response, and new program concepts including innovative housing solutions, funding options and regional approaches. Some ideas to be considered include restoring shelter capacity at the Samuel L. Jones Hall Homeless Shelter through development of new Sprung Structures, creating a safe parking program, and developing new strategies to replace COVID-19 programs currently in place. TIME, AGENDA AND PARTICIPATION INFORMATION TO BE POSTED HERE
Original Message: 5.29.20An Update to Our Community on Current Homeless Services Efforts in Santa Rosa
During this public health emergency, the City of Santa Rosa has been working on several fronts to assist individuals experiencing homelessness, so as to protect this vulnerable population and the community at large from greater spread of COVID-19. Despite the City’s efforts during this time, encampments in several areas of the City have grown increasingly in size and density. This has been of great concern to the City, and we understand that it is for many members of our community as well. The City has been monitoring these areas closely and working with its contracted outreach provider, Catholic Charities’ Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST) to encourage individuals to relocate to the shelter options available to them, including Samuel L. Jones Hall Homeless Shelter, the Safe Social Distancing Program at Finley, the Non-Congregate Shelter at Sonoma State University, and other sites. While the City has encouraged individuals to voluntarily relocate to these safer situations, the City has not forcibly moved people, following the guidance of the Federal Centers for Disease Control, which generally advises against dispersing existing encampments to prevent the spread of COVID-19. READ MORE
Addressing Homelessness During the Public Health Emergency
Safe Social Distancing Program: Parking Lot Site at Finley Center
The Safe Social Distancing Program site in the Finley parking lot consists of 68 tents, with each tent accommodating an individual or couple. Occupancy of the site began on May 18. The site is expected to operate through the duration of the Sonoma County Health Offer Shelter in Place Order. Click the following buttons for further program information.
As of Wednesday, June 24, there are 52 program participants staying at the site with a total of 51 tents occupied.
City Actions to Date to Address Homelessness During COVID-19