What is the City doing to address the growing homeless problem in our community?

Addressing homelessness in Santa Rosa is a top priority of the City Council, supported by $4.9 million in funding in 2022/23, up from $1.5 million in 2015/16. Two interdepartmental teams – the Homeless Action Team (HAT) and the Homeless Encampment Assistance Program (HEAP) – coordinate the City’s response. Representatives from Police, Fire, Housing and Community Services, Transportation & Public Works, Water, City Manager’s Office, City Attorney’s Office, and the Communications & Intergovernmental Relations Department meet weekly and work together with community partners to provide outreach, emergency shelter, housing, and services to persons experiencing homelessness. The City follows a Housing First Strategy  to address homelessness, providing individualized assistance to people experiencing homelessness toward the goal of obtaining housing. In March 2022, the City Council selected a consultant, Focus Strategies to develop a five-year Homelessness Solutions Strategic Plan and step-by-step action plan to address homelessness in the community and achieve “Functional Zero” homelessness in alignment with the Sonoma County Continuum Care (CoC).  Development of the Strategic Plan is underway and anticipated to be completed in 2022. More information about homeless services provided by the City is available on the City’s website under Programs and Initiatives. The City also participates in Sonoma County’s Continuum of Care (CoC) program, a collaborative effort to ensure alignment with a broader regional strategy and leverage federal and state resources to end homelessness.

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1. What is the City doing to address the growing homeless problem in our community?
2. If the City is investing more to address homelessness, why are we seeing more homeless people in our community?
3. Where can people go rather than living on the streets?
4. What is being done about encampments on public property?
5. What can be done about encampments on private property?
6. What are the legal constraints to the City’s ability to address encampments?
7. Is the City considering additional ordinances related to homeless encampments?
8. Why isn’t the City enforcing laws about vehicles/RVs parked on City streets for more than 72 hours?
9. How do I request signage to restrict street parking?
10. Why does the City move people from one encampment location to the next?
11. What is being done about illegal activity?
12. Is it helpful for me to give assistance directly to someone who is homeless, such as food, clothing, or money?
13. How can I help?