News Flash


Posted on: April 22, 2021

Homeless Services Update: Motel Rooms to Phase Out with Vaccines and Shelter Bed Space Now Available


With the arrival of increased vaccine availability and restored homeless shelter beds at Santa Rosa’s new Shelter Annex, the City will begin phasing out the use of motel rooms for individuals experiencing homelessness in late April 2021 and over the next couple months. The City is working now to help ensure room occupants are vaccinated, and to coordinate alternate shelter and housing placements for them.

Early in the pandemic, residents of the City’s Sam Jones Hall Homeless Shelter (SJH) who were considered at risk of COVID-19 were relocated to the rooms, along with some at-risk individuals who resided in encampments. This was prompted in part when the capacity at SJH had to be reduced by 56 beds to meet social distancing requirements. 

In late 2020, the City completed construction of a new Sam Jones Hall Homeless Shelter Annex for the purpose of restoring capacity at the SJH facility, while maintaining social distancing requirements. The opening of the annex for its intended purpose was initially delayed when it was necessary to use the space as an isolation area after a number of SJH shelter residents and individuals living in encampments tested positive for COVID-19. Bed space at the annex opened for new intakes in February 2021, following the two-week wait period after the last confirmed COVID case. 

The City has budgeted more than $10M for homeless services programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Safe Social Distancing Program at Finley Community Center, Non-Congregate Shelter (motel rooms), and the construction of the Sam Jones Hall Annex. These programs are being funded by the City’s General Fund and federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). Additionally, the City is seeking reimbursement through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Public Assistance Program.


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