Homeless solution proposed by County

Hello Sonoma County, we apologize for the long post – hang in there, we have a lot of information to share.

Sonoma County is planning to move occupants of the Joe Rodota Trail (trail) to permanent supportive housing and sheltering in other locations in the County by January 31, 2020.

The face of homeless. Affordable housing is greatly needed.

Our ultimate goal is to get the individuals on the trail into permanent housing while providing support services, including medical, behavioral, and social services—such as food assistance, cash assistance, and applications for social security disability benefits.

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, permanent supportive housing reduces the impact associated with the use intensive crisis services, including hospitals, jails/prisons and shelters.

In addition to these emergency actions, the County is continuing to offer shelter beds to people experiencing homelessness, and working to match people experiencing homelessness to available housing, shelter, and services.

Read on for specifics on shared homes and outdoor shelters.

Shared Homes
The Board of Supervisors will consider purchasing three homes for shared housing at the upcoming board meeting on Tuesday, January 14th. The homes are located at:
• 8190, 8192 and 8194 Arthur Street in Cotati (multi-unit)
• 811 Davis Street in Santa Rosa
• 866 Sonoma Avenue in Santa Rosa

These homes will provide a stable environment with services tailored to each individual, to support their successful transition into their new home. Data shows that 95% of individuals remain housed after one year when they receive permanent supportive housing.

There will also be rules for residents enforced by professional property management, to ensure that residents can be good neighbors.

Neighbors have received notification of the County’s plans to purchase the homes, and the County will stay in touch with neighbors to address concerns moving forward.

We are committed to providing the level of supportive services needed to ensure the success of this endeavor. We consider the individuals who will reside in this home as County residents and part of our community.

Temporary Emergency Outdoor Shelter
The Board of Supervisors will consider selecting one location for a temporary emergency shelter at their upcoming board meeting on Tuesday, January 14th. If a site is selected, the emergency outdoor shelter would be managed and supported by an operator. The potential locations are:
• Los Guillicos Center, 171 Pythian Road
• County Center, 300 Fiscal Drive

The selected site will be able to accommodate 60 people. The county is working to establish hardened shelter units, which are secure and private, with locking windows and doors. We’ve already ordered 30 pallet shelters, image attached to this post.

Outdoor shelters are not in themselves a solution to homelessness. The outdoor shelter model is designed to help people experiencing homelessness take their first step towards permanent stable housing. Services at the site would be geared to help people move into permanent supportive housing.

The site will provide shelter units, laundry and food service, sanitation and shower facilities, security measures, on-site parking for residents’ vehicles, secure storage for residents’ belongings, ADA compliance, and other measures to ensure health and safety.

An operator will be responsible for establishing rules and guidelines for the temporary shelter.

This temporary emergency shelter is a short-term solution before the County establishes two outdoor shelters, which will be operated for an additional 9 months as a pilot program (12 months total). Once the two pilot sites are identified, the temporary emergency outdoor shelter will be closed and residents relocated. An outdoor operator managed shelter is a new model for Sonoma County, and it has demonstrated positive results in other regions.

The County will continue to provide updated information as this process unfolds, and will reach out to businesses near any site that is selected and work to address concerns.

For more information on how the County is responding to homelessness please visit http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Homeless-Emergency/. If you have questions, concerns, or ideas please email us at solvehomelessness@sonoma-county.org.

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