Santa Rosa, CA – December 30, 2019 – Following last week’s special Board
meeting, County staff has quickly forged ahead to implement the strategic
proposal to provide housing, sheltering and services to Joe Rodota Trail (trail)
On December 17, 2019, the Board declared a
Homeless Emergency on the trail and held a special meeting on December 23, 2019
to approve several bold and ambitious strategic proposals to rapidly provide
permanent supportive housing, indoor-outdoor sheltering, and critical support
services to the over 200 trail occupants.
“Addressing the homeless emergency on the
trail is a major priority of the Board. The progress staff has made over the
past week demonstrates our commitment to aggressively respond and prepare to
get individuals ultimately placed in permanent supportive housing,” said Board
Chair David Rabbitt.
The County is on schedule to have
permanent supportive housing placements available in 100 days and an
indoor-outdoor shelter within 180 days or less for occupants on the trail.
While the County is working quickly to
implement these permanent solutions, it has taken a number of actions over the
past week to improve the conditions on the trail and address the public health
concerns on the trail. The County has provided additional resources and
services and augmented others already in place.
These resources and services include, the
addition of 11 portable toilets, two handwashing stations, trash pickup
services, and security patrols at night for the safety of those on the trail.
Vector control services are scheduled to begin
the week of January 5, 2020 and plans for needle disposal are being developed.
The ultimate goal is to get the
individuals on the trail into permanent housing while providing support
services, so that they are more likely to stay housed.
The Board approved a resolution to
purchase homes for shared housing, seeking master leases for individual housing
units and the development of two indoor-outdoor shelters as well as support
Support services include: medical and
behavioral health services, social services—such as mental health and substance
use residential treatment services, infectious disease testing and treatment,
food assistance, cash assistance and applications for social security
The County is currently in negotiations on
three houses. The County will be seeking Board approval for purchase of these
properties at the January 14, 2020 Board meeting.
A Request for Proposals (RFP) for the
Master Leases has been developed and will be publicly available on January 10,
A stakeholder engagement meeting for
specific design elements of the indoor-outdoor shelter sites has been scheduled
for January 3, 2020 at the Veteran’s Hall in Santa Rosa from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“I am fully dedicated to solving the
emergency on the trail and have been a vocal advocate for finding solutions for
some months now. I am glad we are able to take swift action that will address
both the immediate concerns as well as the systemic issues to prevent
individuals from falling back into homelessness” said Supervisor Lynda Hopkins,
whose 5th district includes the trail.
more information, visit: https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Newsroom/Homeless-Emergency/