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.