Santa Rosa, CA – November 24, 2020 – A proposal by the County of Sonoma to purchase the Sebastopol Inn to house some of the County’s most COVID-19 vulnerable unsheltered individuals and create long-term supportive housing has received funding from the state’s Project Homekey. The proposal, which had been on the state’s waiting list, has already been approved by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors pending funding from the state. Sonoma County will now proceed to move forward with the purchase of the Inn located at 6751 Sebastopol Road for the budgeted amount of $6,375,000 in funds supplied by the state through the Project Homekey program. The total cost for the Sebastopol Inn to be used as interim housing is $10,850,000 including acquisition, development and operating funds.
This marks the second Sonoma County proposal to receive state funding through Project Homekey. The Board of Supervisors in July approved a plan to purchase the 44-room Hotel Azura in downtown Santa Rosa using $7.95 million in state funding.
“When the governor put up this money back in the summer and challenged counties to come forward with proposals to convert hotels to permanent supportive housing, we dreamed big and came up with two proposals,” said Supervisor Susan Gorin, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “We couldn’t be prouder of the fact that we’re now one of the only counties in the state to have more than one project approved.”
As with the Hotel Azura, the two-story Sebastopol Inn will be remodeled to provide permanent housing for vulnerable individuals experiencing homelessness. The facility includes 31 recently remodeled hotel rooms. “The acquisition of the Sebastopol Inn is important as the County works hard to provide permanent supportive housing available throughout the County,” said Barbie Robinson, the Interim Executive Director of the Community Development Commission. Individuals housed at the Sebastopol Inn and Hotel Azura will participate in the county’s ACCESS (Accessing Coordinated Care to Empower Self Sufficiency) Initiative.
The ACCESS Initiative is an innovative program that provides individualized, integrated services to individuals experiencing homelessness based on their needs. These services span County and community programs to provide wraparound and holistic care and interventions, which are critical to improving individuals’ well-being and self-sufficiency. Services include primary healthcare, behavioral health services, economic assistance, food assistance, employment training and other services. These resources and services are key determinants of successful housing placement and the permanency of these placements.
Governor Newsom announced Project Homekey in June, and in July made $600 million in funding available. Of that, $550 million has been provided to cities and counties by California’s direct allocation of the federal Coronavirus Aid Relief Funds, with an additional $50 million provided by the state to supplement the acquisition and provide initial operating funds.
To learn more about the Project Homekey funded projects, please visit bcsh.ca.gov/homekey