Skip to Content

Department of Health Services

Homelessness Services

For Immediate Release

County of Sonoma awarded $4.6 million in state funding to assist with homeless encampments

SANTA ROSA, CA | June 16, 2023

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced this week that the County of Sonoma will receive $4.6 million to help individuals experiencing homelessness in encampments by moving them off the streets and into safe and stable housing. The county is one of 23 entities targeted to receive the special state funds. 

“I applaud the state for helping cities and counties with its largest amount from the Encampment Resolution Funds (ERF) to be distributed statewide to date,” said Supervisor Chris Coursey, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “Over the past few months, in particular after the opening of the emergency shelter site on county grounds, we have made it clear; permanent housing is the key to ending homelessness. These funds are a big step forward to help us achieve that.”

Statewide, the Encampment Resolution Funds go toward providing a path to long-term housing for unhoused persons living in encampments.  In this initial award of $200 million, the state prioritized encampments along state rights of way (generally areas near highways). The County of Sonoma was able to secure a share of the funding for persons who are living or who have recently been relocated from the Joe Rodota Trail, a pedestrian and bike trail that runs eight and a half miles between Santa Rosa and Sebastopol.

This marks the second time that areas in the county have received ERF funding. The City of Petaluma was awarded $1.3 million in ERF Round One, and utilized the funding to help house persons at the Steamer’s Landing encampment in 2022. 

The county’s $4.6 million grant is structured to provide the next step towards longer-term housing for persons who have come off the Joe Rodota Trail (and related encampments) in 2022 and 2023, many of whom now reside in interim housing like the 90-bed emergency shelter site at the county administrative buildings, the 60-bed Los Guilicos Village, and the 35 trailers at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. The grant includes funds for wrap-around services staffing, as well as funds for SHARE Sonoma County to significantly expand its successful scattered site master leasing program. The grant is not intended to reimburse the county for funds already allocated for the emergency shelter site.

Funding to house homeless individuals living in encampments has been critical to the reduction of the Sonoma County region’s homeless population. Sonoma County saw an overall 22 percent decrease in the homeless population between 2023 and 2022, including a 24 percent decline in those identified as being chronically homeless, according to preliminary results of the Sonoma County Point-in-Time count in January 2023.  The overall reduction in sheltered and unsheltered homeless includes more homeless in sheltered settings (from 805 in 2022 to 975 in 2023) where they can receive services and support to move to long-term housing. This move from the streets to shelter could not have happened without ERF and other funding support.   

Department of Health Services Director Tina Rivera noted, “This grant is exciting and affirming. We are on the right path with our efforts to provide housing for the unsheltered in Sonoma County, and the State has helped us continue along that path.  We have much more to do to create more permanent housing, but are very thankful for these resources.”

Governor Newsom announced the 23 projects that will receive a total of $199 million to assist individuals in encampments. In total, the state has proposed providing $750 million to support 10,000 individuals who are experiencing homelessness. 

For more information on the Encampment Resolution Funds or additional projects being funded visit

Media Contact: 
Gilbert Martinez, Communications Specialist
(707) 565-3040
575 Administration Drive, Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403