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The City is engaged in a number of efforts to assist persons experiencing homelessness and to lessen the impacts of homelessness on the community:
The City provides funding to support emergency shelters, safe parking, day services, and rental assistance for individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness. More information about programs and initiatives funded by the City is available on the City’s website under Programs and Initiatives.
If you are aware of someone in need of homeless services and shelter, please contact our contracted outreach services provider, the Homeless Services Outreach Team (HOST), at 707-978-8329 or [email protected].
Additional information on the Coordinated Entry system and county-wide emergency shelter details can be found at Sonoma County’s Homelessness Services website.
The City’s Encampment Team proactively addresses the health, safety, and environmental concerns associated with encampments. The Team is comprised of various City departments who work in coordination with the City’s contracted outreach provider, Catholic Charities’ Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST). City protocols prioritize outreach and offering services to individuals residing in encampments prior to any enforcement action. More information is available on the City’s website under Encampment Resolution.
For questions, concerns, or to report encampments on public property, please email [email protected], submit the issue online, or call 707-543-3311.
Encampments on private property are referred to the City’s Code Enforcement division and require cooperation of the property owner to resolve. Santa Rosa Police Department (SRPD) will enforce trespassing on private property, however, the property owner must have a “no trespassing” letter on file with SRPD. While not required, Code Enforcement and SRPD will coordinate with the Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST) to offer services in advance of removing an encampment. To make a report of an encampment on private property, please contact the City's Code Enforcement division at [email protected], 707-543-3198, or submit a Code Enforcement complaint.
The Ninth Circuit Court decision in Martin v. Boise prohibits cities from criminally enforcing camping restrictions on public property if there is no alternative shelter available for those facing enforcement. Consistent with this ruling, the City’s process to address encampments begins with a referral to the City’s contracted outreach provider, Catholic Charities’ Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST), to offer services and shelter to individuals residing in an encampment prior to any enforcement action.
In September 2023, an updated Camping Ordinance (PDF) governing camping on public and private property went into effect in the City of Santa Rosa. The updated ordinance aligns with Martin v. City of Boise, a 2019 decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and establishes standards for camping on public or private property that protect the health and safety of the community.
Vehicles parked in the public right-of-way with expired registration or that are non-operable may be towed subject to staffing resources and the capacity of the City’s towing vendor. The City implemented a Safe Parking Program in March 2022 which provides up to 50 parking spaces for individuals living in their vehicles. While this does not meet the needs of all individuals residing in vehicles, it is a first step for the City in trying to address vehicle encampments, provide individuals a safe place to stabilize while seeking more permanent solutions, and to mitigate impacts to the broader community.
To submit a request regarding street parking signage, please use the online reporting and request tool My Santa Rosa. Street signs are listed in the category of “Streets & ADA.” Please be aware that the Traffic Engineering Department reviews areas for signage based on sight distance and other related concerns and cannot place signage solely for the purpose of limiting vehicle encampments.
Keep in mind that simply being homeless is not a crime and people experiencing homelessness have the same rights as everyone to be in public spaces. Some behaviors associated with homelessness may be unpleasant but are not illegal, while others may be illegal but difficult for police to enforce depending on the severity of the crime.
To report an encampment on private property, email [email protected], submit a complaint, or call 707-543-3198.
The best and most impactful way to help someone who is experiencing homelessness is to connect them to the services and options for shelter that are available to them. The City’s non-profit partners provide food, clothing, shelter, housing, and other supportive services to meet the immediate needs of homeless community members, and are committed to helping to solve the critical, ongoing issue of homelessness in Santa Rosa.
Make a referral to HOST: If you are aware of someone in need of homeless services and shelter, please contact the Homeless Services Outreach Team (HOST) at 707-978-8329 or [email protected]. This street outreach team funded by the City is operated by Catholic Charities to help engage unsheltered community members into shelter and services.
Donate to a Service Provider: The City’s non-profit partners provide food, clothing, housing, and other supportive services to community members who are experiencing homelessness. If you wish to help, please consider donating to one of these organizations, a partial list is available on the City's Resources webpage.
Be a Part of the Solution: Homelessness is a critical issue in our community and many others across the Bay Area and California. Managing the immediate crisis at hand while working towards solutions to end homelessness will require a coordinated, regional response with collaboration from all sectors of the community. To learn more and get involved, visit the City’s website, attend a Santa Rosa City Council meeting, or contact us with your ideas to increase community participation at [email protected].