On May 19, 2023, Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) presented Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa with a check for $5 million from the state of California to help launch Caritas Center in its first year. Assemblymember Wood secured the funding for Catholic Charities as part of last year’s state budget.
In fall of 2022, Catholic Charities opened Caritas Center which features multiple wrap-around services that will help participants navigate their journey to permanent housing, while also preventing at-risk people from falling into homelessness. A 192-bed family shelter, childcare, healthcare clinic, drop-in center, and 38 recuperative beds are available in a facility built from the ground up with critical, life-changing services in mind. Next door, Caritas Homes includes 128 affordable homes built in partnership with experienced nonprofit developer Burbank Housing.
“Catholic Charities is well known to me and the entire community for its amazing efforts providing support services and moving people, including veterans, seniors, and families, into housing and out of poverty,” said Wood. “The Caritas Village partnership with Burbank Housing – leaders in building affordable housing – will bring their decades of experience and expertise to create a facility to meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents.”
The Santa Rosa City Council approved the project for construction in August 2020. Currently, Catholic Charities serves 2,000 people every year through its housing and shelter services, and this long-term solution is expected to place twice as many people into permanent housing.
“Caritas Center is the only facility of its kind to bring all these elements under one roof,” said Jennielynn Holmes, CEO of Catholic Charities. “By supporting this model, Assemblymember Wood has demonstrated his commitment to dramatically alleviate if not end homelessness in our region. Our communities want to bring an end to homelessness. We at Catholic Charities will continue to link arms with others who want to support this mission as we know the work is ongoing to make Caritas Center all our team endeavors it to be."
“This funding will be instrumental in building the Caritas Village infrastructure but my hope is that it also sends a strong message that the state support of Caritas is strong and will spur others to support their critical fundraising effort for its ongoing operations,” said Wood.
To learn more about Caritas Village, you may contact: John Pavik, Catholic Charities Director of Communications at 707-284-3853 or [email protected].