Skip to Content
County Administrator's Office
For Immediate Release

Sonoma County health officials issue cold weather warning

Shelter resources increased to protect the unhoused

Santa Rosa,CA | December 30, 2021

The County of Sonoma is issuing a cold weather warning in response to the National Weather Service’s prediction of possible freezing overnight temperatures on Friday, Dec. 31 through Monday, Jan. 3. Temperatures are expected to drop to the upper 20s and 30s for most areas. Officials recommend that residents limit time outdoors, as serious medical conditions including hypothermia and frostbite can develop with prolonged cold weather exposure.

 

Sonoma County announced earlier this month that additional winter shelter beds, in addition to the more than 900 year-round shelter beds, would be available for vulnerable populations during low temperatures this winter. The additional winter beds and the year-round sites continue to increase the capacity for those seeking shelter. With COVID numbers on the rise due in part to the spread of the omicron variant, county officials and community-based partners are hesitant to add additional capacity to existing congregate shelters or open new shelters. Instead, the county will be working with community partners to fill existing capacity at local shelters and at alternative care sites, and to expand upon a limited motel stay program for those who need and want shelter during this cold spell.

 

Meanwhile, warming stations will also be available. Petaluma People Services will assist in staffing the warming center operating at the Salvation Army, 721 S. McDowell Blvd, Petaluma. The warming center will operate on Friday 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. every day until Jan. 3. The shelter’s capacity is 20 to 25, and operators will work with the city if they feel it needs to remain open longer due to weather. Petaluma People Services will coordinate with local health officials to supplement a supply of COVID tests for anyone coming to the shelter or volunteering. For information on the Salvation Army warming center, contact Petaluma People Services at (707) 765-8488.

The City of Santa Rosa and Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa also is coordinating a nighttime outdoor warming tent. The warming tent will begin operating tonight and will continue until Sunday, Jan.2. This is not a sleeping location, but it will be open for individuals to escape the harshest temperatures between 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. The warming tent will be located at 610 Wilson St. in Santa Rosa. To learn more about cold weather
preparedness, including safety tips visit srcity.org/ExtremeCold.

 

In addition, Catholic Charities will continue its operation of a drop-in shelter on Friday from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The center also will be open on Monday through Wednesday during the same operating hours. During operating hours, individuals will be able to utilize laundry, telephone and mail services and have access to hot showers. Individuals can also get assistance with the coordinated entry intake process. The drop-in center is located at the Homeless Service Center, 610 Wilson St., Santa Rosa, CA.

 

If you or someone you know requires shelter during this cold period, call the Coordinated Entry System Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (866) 542-5480 or email CE@srcharities.org. Updated information about the region’s winter shelter and cold-weather assistance programs can be found here.

 

Be sure to sign up for wireless emergency alerts at www.socoemergency.org/get-ready/sign-up/. For information on preparing for extreme cold visit: https://socoemergency.org/get-ready/local-hazards/preparing-for-extreme-cold/ 

 

###