The Joe Rodota Trail (JRT) is a Sonoma County Regional Park space. To address the growing homeless encampment along the JRT – at the direction of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors – the County of Sonoma activated its Emergency Operation Center on December 18th as a Joint Operations Center (JOC) involving participation from multiple County departments and non-profit service providers. The JOC is focused on resolving the situation on the JRT in a viable and effective manner. At a Special Meeting on December 23, the County Board of Supervisors approved $12 million to fund solutions to house and shelter those on the JRT. The Board’s approved solutions are as follows:
- Master Leases: A service provider (non-profit) may lease an entire rental property, and then sublease it to people who are living on the trail. The County will establish the program and subsidize leases. The leases will include 6-7 units within 100 days or less, and will serve 20 clients.
- Shared Housing: Housing that allows each individual to have a private bedroom but shares common areas. This could include up to 6 multi-bedroom houses that will serve 60 people total, and can be available within 100 days or less.
- Indoor-Outdoor Shelter: Staff will use criteria to identify multiple indoor-outdoor sites. The sites may include a combination of on-site structures, RV hook-ups, and safe parking. Each site will be able to accommodate approximately 40 people currently living on the trail, and will be available in 60 to 180 days.
- Support Services: Services provide clients with the support needed to maintain housing. Services will initially focus on assessing occupants on the JRT but will follow clients in shared housing and the in-door/out-door shelter.
- Immediate Action: To improve conditions on the Trail immediately, the County is addressing pest control, placing additional hand washing stations and bathroom facilities, establishing needle disposal bins, providing trash removal, and hiring private security to protect well-being of occupants.
Residents may watch a video recording of the County’s December 23rd Special Meeting, view the staff presentation, meeting minutes, and more at the County’s website: www.sonoma-county.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4288946&GUID=F1C4C618-3EFB-49BF-B25D-A8FA0E5423A9&Options=&Search=
For more information about the County’s efforts, visit www.sonomacounty.ca.gov/CDC/Homeless-Services/ or contact Michael Gause at 707-565-1977 or [email protected].
To report suspicious and/or criminal activity along the Joe Rodota Trail, contact the Santa Rosa Police Department at 707-528-5222 (non-emergency line). For more information about the City of Santa Rosa’s efforts to address homelessness, visit the City of Santa Rosa Homelessness Solutions webpage at www.srcity.org/691/Homelessness-Solutions.
HOW TO HELP
In an effort to improve coordination of charitable efforts, members of the public who wish to donate supplies—including food, clothing, and basic survival gear—are encouraged to bring items directly to the outreach teams and local winter shelters who are working with and providing support services to individuals on the trail. This will ensure that supplies reach those who need them most, while keeping the trail clear from excess garbage and unsanitary conditions. The following organizations are leading outreach efforts on the trail and can accept various donations. Please visit their individual websites for more information on what items to donate and where to donate them: