For Immediate Release
Sonoma County Project Homekey site approved
SANTA ROSA, CA | August 24, 2022
George’s Hideaway located along Highway 116 in Guerneville has been approved to become Sonoma County’s latest supportive housing site under a list of approved Project Homekey sites released today by the state Department of Housing & Community Development. The former tavern and restaurant will be the sixth overall county location funded through Project Homekey, a state initiative to convert vacant or underused buildings into housing for homeless individuals or those at risk of homelessness.
The Community Development Commission expects to use up to $6.3 million in Homekey funds to complete renovations of the shuttered lodge to create eight permanent housing units inside existing structures and up to 13 tiny homes at the site. All together George’s Hideaway will provide 21 permanent supportive housing units - the type of housing that is in the most need in Sonoma County.
“We’re excited to see the George’s Hideaway project receive Homekey funding,” said Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, whose 5th District includes the former tavern. “There has been strong support from our community for years to transform the historic tavern into a service center site where individuals from our river community can receive the appropriate level of care”
Earlier this year the Board of Supervisors approved using $985,000 in state and local funds to purchase the former George’s Hideaway tavern at 18100 Highway 116 in advance of an anticipated Project Homekey award. Residents at George’s Hideaway will receive ongoing supportive services such as physical and behavioral health care, connection to a case manager and the opportunity to transition to permanent housing elsewhere. The nonprofit West County Community Services, which will manage the Guerneville housing site, plans to operate a day center to provide services to both residents of the site and local unhoused people during operational hours.
“Homekey and the Hideaway will play critical roles in reaching the homeless in the Russian River area and providing much-needed resources and services,” said James Gore, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “We know that our great partners who made this possible will make it a rousing success for the clients there and for the river community.”
With the addition of the Guerneville location, the county continues its focus on a housing-first approach, which prioritizes access to long-term, stable housing for homeless people and provides necessary resources to reduce homelessness countywide. Altogether, Homekey sites have provided more than 220 new housing units in the county.
Sonoma County also continues to see an increase in housing opportunities through a variety of local efforts including the development of Caritas Village, a joint project by Catholic Charities and Burbank Housing located in Santa Rosa. Caritas Village will include a housing-focused service center, emergency family shelter and 128 units of permanent supportive and affordable housing. Construction began in March 2021 and is expected to have portions complete later this year.
For more information on Homekey visit https://www.hcd.ca.gov/grants-and-funding/homekey
For more information on Sonoma County’s homelessness services please visit SonomaCounty.ca.gov.