Released by: Human Rights Commission
For Immediate Release

Sonoma County Junior Commission on Human Rights Panel Forum on Homelessness

Santa Rosa, CA  –  March 21, 2017  –  The Sonoma County Junior Commission on Human Rights believes that shelter is a human right, and are committed to fighting to end homelessness in our own community. They believe the first steps to solutions are advocacy and awareness.  The Commission’s Homelessness Committee, made up of high school students, are hosting a forum to address concerns at Chops Teen Club on Wednesday, March 29th from 5:00 to 6:30.

The forum seeks to spread awareness and hopes to attract teens as well as adults. Committee member Bella Nadler says, “An estimated 3,000 county residents are living without the basic human right of shelter. Being homeless is something that people don’t think about every day, until they are facing it. I feel like as a community we are incredibly blind to the struggles that many of us face. We hope to help change that with this project and address ways in which concerned citizens can help.”

Attendees will hear from a panel of speakers: George Malachowski, Program Development Manager of the Sonoma County Human Services Department; Jennilynn Holmes, Director of Shelter and Housing at Catholic Charities; Akash Kalia, owner of the Palms Inn Homeless and Veteran’s housing project; Enrique Yarce, event organizer for the Black Student Union at SRJC, and a representative from Social Advocates for Youth’s Dream Center. The diverse group of speakers will share their insights while creating an engaging and informative event. There will also be an exhibit of photographs and interviews with unhoused Sonoma County residents entitled “Unheard Voices”. Please bring any items that you would be willing to donate to the homeless community. Items of need include new socks, new or gently used shoes and clothing, clean blankets, jackets, sleeping bags, new personal care items and towels. 

The Junior Commission on Human Rights is a project of the Commission on Human Rights, an appointed advisory board to the County Board of Supervisors. The Junior Commission is intended to provide high school aged youth with the opportunity to participate in advocacy, take an active role in County government, provide education about human rights issues that impact their lives and empower youth to make a positive impact on their communities.

For more information about the Junior Commission, visit the CHR website at: or follow us on Facebook