County Administrator's Office
Released by: County Administrator's Office
For Immediate Release

County Takes Swift Actions to Address Homelessness on the Joe Rodota Trail

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) occupants.  

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 services.

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 disability benefits.

Shared Housing

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. 

Master Leasing

A Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Master Leases has been developed and will be publicly available on January 10, 2020. 

Indoor-Outdoor Shelter

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. 

For more information, visit: https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Newsroom/Homeless-Emergency/

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Contact Information

Communications Manager
County of Sonoma
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Address
Health Services Administration
1450 Neotomas Avenue

Suite 200

Santa Rosa, CA 95405
38.433274, -122.684236