Santa Rosa, CA – December 9, 2021 – The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors awarded $2 million in funding this week to support five projects that will provide housing and other resources for people experiencing homelessness in Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Guerneville and Sebastopol.
All five projects will help individuals transition from the street or encampments into safe parking or interim shelter in preparation for placement in more secure housing environments, such as permanent supportive housing and other affordable housing. The initiative leverages partnerships with cities and community groups to create paths that lead to long-term housing for unhoused people.
“We need to explore every creative opportunity that we have, because we continue to have a crisis on the streets of Sonoma County,” said Lynda Hopkins, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “We are wholly embracing creative solutions here in Sonoma County. We are willing to take risks to get people housed.”
The funding includes:
- $750,000 for a 25-unit modular housing shelter in Petaluma at 900 Hopper St. backed by the city and the Committee on the Shelterless (COTS). The City of Petaluma is proposing to assist the project with up to $1.3 million from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).
- $500,000 for a 50-space safe parking program in Santa Rosa at the city’s Utilities Field Office off Stony Point Road. The City of Santa Rosa intends to contribute more than $2.3 million from the city or ARPA resources to support the program for up to two years. Catholic Charities will operate the pilot program.
- $400,000 for a 18-unit tiny home village just north of Sonoma at 18820 Highway 12 in partnership with Homeless Action Sonoma (HAS). HAS took ownership of the property in November and plans to house 22 people in 18 Quickhaven-style shelters.
- $270,000 for 15 tiny homes at the vacant George’s Hideaway restaurant and bar outside Guerneville. The Sonoma County Community Development Commission has applied for Project Homekey funding to purchase the site and improve it for permanent supportive housing in partnership with West County Community Services.
- $80,000 for a 22-space safe parking program in Sebastopol at 845 Gravenstein Highway North. The funding, which leverages a partnership between City of Sebastopol and Sonoma Applied Village Services, will help the project continue through the end of 2022.
The projects will be funded with $1 million in discretionary reserves from the county’s general fund and $1 million from the county’s settlement with PG&E over damage caused by the 2017 wildfires.
The funding approved by the Board of Supervisors aligns with goals outlined in the county’s five-year strategic plan for creating healthy and safe communities. Among other things, the strategic plan seeks to reduce the county’s homeless population by 10 percent annually by enhancing services through improved coordination and collaboration with local partners.