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County Administrator's Office
For Immediate Release

Sonoma County begins process of reopening Joe Rodota Trail

SANTA ROSA, CA | July 22, 2022

In anticipation of reopening a closed section of Joe Rodota Trail along Highway 12 as soon as possible, Sonoma County officials have started the process of relocating homeless individuals camped along the trail to alternative shelter sites in the area.

The section of the trail was closed on July 8 due to concerns about the encampment’s impact on the safety of those using the pathway. By law, county officials must offer residents of the encampment alternative shelter before the encampment can be cleared.

Working together, staff from the county’s Department of Health Services and Community Development Commission have been able to identify available shelter space at various locations in the area to accommodate the 30 to 35 residents at the site. On Thursday, the Homeless Encampment Access & Resource Team began the process of offering shelter to all individuals at two separate encampments along the trail. The team will begin moving individuals into shelter today and will continue to provide assistance until both encampments are cleared.

Individuals at the sites who opt for the alternative shelters also will receive assistance from county staff to relocate their belongings. Spanish-speaking staff have been on site and are assisting individuals at the encampments.

Those individuals who choose not to relocate will begin receiving notices today to vacate by Tuesday, July 26 at 8 a.m., as required by law. They are not required to accept the alternative shelter offered by the county but are required to clear their belongings and move off county property by July 26.

Once all encampment residents have been relocated, Sonoma County Regional Parks will begin a cleanup process to ensure the trail is free of debris and hazardous materials. Parks staff anticipate reopening the trail within seven days after all camp residents have been relocated. Fencing will remain in place for the time being to allow for the necessary cleanup work to take place and prevent other encampments from forming along the trail.

Meanwhile, Sonoma County continues to address the shortage of alternative shelter sites in the region that precipitated the closure of the Joe Rodota Trail due to the encampment. This work is being done through a variety of programs including Los Guilicos Village, Project Homekey, Safe Parking programs, the repurposing of non-congregate trailers and other local projects such as the soon-to-open Caritas Village in Santa Rosa.

Three Project Homekey sites that have received funding but are pending operations include the L&M Village in Healdsburg, the Studios at Montero in Petaluma, and property on Labath Avenue in Rohnert Park, which, combined, will provide 144 new housing units by the end of this year.

Caritas Village, a joint project by Catholic Charities and Burbank Housing located in Santa Rosa, will include a housing-focused service center, emergency family shelter and 128 units of permanent affordable housing.  Construction, which began in March 2021, is expected to be completed by fall of this year.

Meanwhile, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors has allocated $2 million to implement safe parking and interim housing opportunities in Petaluma, Santa Rosa and Sebastopol in coordination with the cities.

For more information on Sonoma County’s homelessness services please visit SonomaCounty.ca.gov.

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Contact Information: 
Gilbert Martinez, Communication Specialist 
publicaffairs@sonoma-county.org 
575 Administration Drive, Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 565-3040

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