The City of Santa Rosa, in partnership with Catholic Charities, is preparing for the onset of extreme weather conditions that will trigger the opening of a drop-in Warming Center for residents who need a place to go to get warm. The City’s Extreme Weather Warming Center Policy directs the opening of the Warming Center whenever the National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts three consecutive days with overnight lows below 32-degrees Fahrenheit or three consecutive nights of rainfall with major or extreme risk levels as determined by the NWS. While temperatures and rainfall in Santa Rosa have not yet reached these benchmarks this year, preparations are underway now in anticipation of the need to open the Warming Center within the coming weeks.
When activated, the drop-in Warming Center will be located at the Homeless Services Center of Catholic Charities’ new Caritas Center in downtown Santa Rosa (301 6th Street Suite 108, entrance on Morgan and 6th Streets) and will operate from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. The new Caritas Center facility has indoor space available to host up to 78 individuals and, if needed, an outdoor courtyard within the facility will be outfitted with pop-up tents warmed by low-profile radiant heaters to host up to an additional 90 individuals. Community members will be notified in advance of when the Warming Center will be activated, including outreach to individuals who are experiencing homelessness in the city.
The Warming Center is a drop-in place to warm up and charge devices; it is not a shelter and no cots for sleeping will be provided. However, individuals who seek indoor emergency shelter will be provided with a referral. The City follows a Housing First strategy to address homelessness, providing individualized assistance to connect individuals experiencing homelessness with services and shelter, with the goal of helping them to transition from being homeless into housing.