Webinar: Lenders and Investors Respond to COVID-19 Impact, Part II, August 18, 2020, 3 pm PT
Presented by California Housing Partnership, announced on August 3, 2020
Join the California Housing Partnership on Tuesday, August 18 from 3:00-4:30 pm for Part II of the conversation we began in April about the challenges that nonprofit developers of multifamily affordable housing face in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This timely discussion with investors, lenders, and nonprofit developers will delve into how the field is adapting to a changing lending and equity market, construction and lease-up delays, and closings and conversions. [Read and Register]
Sonoma County Civil Grand Jury 2019-2020 Final Report
Published by the Sonoma County Civil Grand Jury, August 2, 2020
“The Grand Jury’s mission is to facilitate positive change in Sonoma County. We are changed with overseeing city, County, and special district operation. We investigate these entities to evaluate their efficiency, honesty, fairness, and dedication to serving the public. Based on our findings, we make recommendations.” Reports relevant to homelessness are:
– Homeless Youth Report, and
– Grand Jury Homeless Report
Sonoma County Eyes Sebastopol Inn as Potential Homeless Housing
By Tyler Silvy, Press Democrat, August 4, 2020
Sonoma County housing officials are negotiating to buy the Sebastopol Inn, eyeing the 31-room boutique hotel near the heart of Sebastopol’s downtown as a landing spot for vulnerable homeless residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The move opens a new front in the county’s battle against homelessness, and would expand county control over more commercial real estate as it struggles to contain a deadly disease and combat one of its most intractable socioeconomic problems. [Read]
Evoking Empathy Or Seeking Solidarity: Which Is Preferable When Covering People Without Homes?
By Mark Coddington and Seth Lewis, Nieman Lab, August 4, 2020
The essential contribution that Varma makes is to draw a distinction between two themes in the project’s coverage that humanized people without homes: empathy and solidarity. If empathy, she argues, focuses on personalizing individuals — on illustrating how “they’re just like us” to help audiences identify with homeless people — solidarity instead emphasizes politicizing the structural conditions that contribute to homelessness, or bringing to the fore the community-wide constraints that the marginalized face. [Read]
Sonoma County Supervisors Poised to Advance Tax Measure to Bolster Mental Health, Homeless Services
By Tyler Silvy, Press Democrat, August 2, 2020
A tax increase for mental health and homeless services long envisioned by Sonoma County leaders eager to expand the county’s work in both areas is poised to secure approval this week from the Board of Supervisors, advancing the measure voters in November. The proposed quarter-cent sales tax boost would generate $25 million during the next 10 years for behavioral health facilities, emergency psychiatric services, homeless services and more. [Read]
What the Pandemic Taught Us About the Homeless – and What We Shouldn’t Forget
By Thomas Hugh Byrne, Benjamin F. Henwood, and Anthony W, Orlando, The Hill, August 2, 2020
To date, California has procured more than 15,000 rooms and housed over 14,000 people — faster progress than we have ever seen in such a short time span. All it took was a public health emergency. [Read]
Coronavirus Changed King County’s Homelessness System. Could It Now Be Working Better for Black People?
By Sydney Brownstone, The Seattle Times, August 3, 2020
Local policymakers have embraced a housing philosophy that says the most vulnerable people should be at the front of the line for permanent housing. Under normal circumstances, Johnson likely wouldn’t have been considered at risk enough to get into a rare spot. But during the pandemic, early data shows that Black people have been more likely to get housing when they are no longer required to have the highest scores on the evaluation, which has been criticized in the past for favoring white applicants. Now, housing providers are asking whether relying less on the evaluation, a fluke of the pandemic, should become the norm. [Read]
The Life Stories of Homeless Youths
Photos by Nema Etebar, November 2015
I was born in a shelter. I had always been in and out of shelters. [Read]
Tacoma’s New Tiny Home Community Has Big Goals to Get People in Houses
By Keith Eldridge, KOMO News, July 30, 2020
A new tiny home village that is now open in Tacoma has generated enthusiasm and excitement for the first group of residents who are set to move into the development. [Read]
Ten Bucks Left, No Place To Go
By Kyle Swenson, The Washington Post, August 1, 2020
Hundreds, if not thousands, of people in the nation’s capital have been sucked down the same confusing abyss. Through July 29, the employment office has fielded more than 133,000 claims, nearly five times the number processed in all of 2019. [Read]
COVID-19 – More Resources for People Experiencing Homelessness
Published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, updated July 31, 2020
– Guidance and Planning Documents
– Web Resources
Santa Rosa City Council Seeks Volunteers to Serve on Boards, Committees and Commissions
By City of Santa Rosa News Flash, July 30, 2020
City Council is seeking volunteers interested in serving on the following Boards that have current vacancies:
– Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Board (One senior community representative, one at-large position
– Board of Building Regulation Appeals (Two positions)
– Board of Community Services (One at-large position)
– Community Advisory Board (One at-large position)
Why America Needs More Social Housing
By Peter Dreier, The American Prospect, April 16, 2018
Subsidizing market prices to make housing affordable is a losing strategy. There’s a better way—on display for a century in Vienna. [Read]
Theo – Homeless At Age 7
Photo essay, story by Sarah Ravani, photographs by Gabrielle Lurie, San Francisco Chronicle, July 29, 2020
Homeless kids as young as Theo, though, are rare. Berkeley’s official homeless count, in fact, showed no families with children among the more than 813 unsheltered people in the city in 2019. But Berkeley officials know well that Theo sometimes lives on the city’s streets with his mother. They have tried several times to help the two find stable housing, without success. [Read]
Santa Rosa Police Clear Half of Homeless Encampment at Fremont Park
By Austin Murphy, Press Democrat, July 29, 2020
Going tent to tent on Wednesday morning, Santa Rosa police cleared homeless residents from the western half of Fremont Park in downtown, where their presence near a grove of redwood trees constituted a fire hazard, according to city authorities. Those living in the eastern half of the plaza were not required to leave. [Read]
Fire Threat Addressed in Encampment in Fremont Park
By City of Santa Rosa News Alert, updated July 29, 2020
Outreach and notification to individuals within the park was led by the Santa Rosa Police Department and Catholic Charities’ Homeless Outreach Service Team (HOST). Through this effort, the City was successful in placing 25 individuals from the encampments into services, including 2 into permanent supportive housing, and others at the City’s Samuel L. Jones Hall Homeless Shelter, the Safe Social Distancing Program at Finley, and hotel rooms. [Read]
California Landlords Are Locking Out Struggling Tenants. A ‘Tsunami of Evictions’ May Be Next
By Sam Levin, The Guardian, July 30, 2020
Some California tenants have faced increasingly aggressive eviction efforts over the last month, despite emergency protections meant to preserve people’s housing during the coronavirus pandemic. And although advocates have urged state officials to strengthen the rules, key renters’ protections are set to expire without new state plans in place. [Read]
Webinar: Future Planning for the Homelessness Response System: Lessons Learned from Birmingham, Detroit, and New Orleans
Presented by the United State Interagency Council on Homelessness on July 27, 2020. Watch and download webinar slides here.
Plan to Convert Hotel into Housing for Homeless Worries Some Santa Rosa Neighbors
By Will Schmitt, Press Democrat, July 26, 2020
County officials — operating largely behind closed doors — are moving forward to purchase the Hotel Azura that sits on the northeast corner of the St. Rose neighborhood, at the intersection of College and Mendocino avenues. If the county goes through with the purchase in the next few months, it would turn the 42-room hotel into permanent housing with on-site services for people experiencing homelessness. The growing concentration of those service providers has irked some residents of the residents in the St. Rose district and adjacent West End neighborhood on the west side of Highway 101. [Read]
Emergency Expansion at City’s Homeless Shelter Property to Restore Bed Space to Pre-COVID-19 Levels
By City of Santa Rosa News Flash, July 23, 2020
The Samuel Jones Hall (SJH) Homeless Shelter, located at 4020 Finley Avenue, is a critical facility providing shelter and services to persons experiencing homelessness. In March 2020, it was necessary to put measures in place to help protect SJH guests from COVID-19 by relocating some individuals out of the facility so that required social distancing measures could be implemented, resulting in a loss of 56 beds. The City is now planning an emergency shelter expansion at SJH to restore available bed capacity back to pre-COVID-19 occupancy, while maintaining social distancing requirements. The purpose of the expansion is to restore these critically needed shelter beds that were lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, not to increase overall bed capacity at the facility. [Read]
Transgender Homeless Adults & Unsheltered Homelessness: What the Data Tell Us
Published by National Alliance to End Homelessness & Homelessness Research Institute, July 24, 2020
Limited information exists about the number of transgender people experiencing homelessness. There are very few data sets relative to this population, but all the data tells a similar story: transgender people are more likely to be unsheltered than their cisgender peers, and those who are unsheltered have considerably more health and safety challenges than those who are sheltered. [Read]
A Los Angeles Nonprofit’s Call for Homeless Housing Solutions Draws 40 Shelter Ideas—and Counting
By Lucy Wang, Dwell, July 24, 2020
In a bid to safely bring the unhoused public indoors, Los Angeles–based nonprofit The Housing Innovation Collaborative (HICo) has launched The Rapid Shelter Innovation Showcase—an open-source, online platform for rapidly deployable shelter solutions to the homeless crisis worsened by COVID-19. [Read]
Where To Get Food, Financial Assistance in Sonoma County During the COVID-19 Pandemic
By Elissa Chudwin, Press Democrat, July 23, 2020
If you or someone you know is in need of help during the pandemic, here is a list of local organizations that are providing food and financial assistance. This list is being updated as we learn more, and you can let us know what we’ve missed at firstname.lastname@example.org. [Read]
Nowhere To Go
Nowhere To Go is a project created in an unprecedented collaboration among seven university journalism programs spanning the country led by the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland. The project wanted to take a nationwide snapshot of how homeless people are being treated in America, criminalization, encampments, and Dignity Village in Gainesville, FL. Americans priced out of housing increasingly land in jail, in court or in tents on the street. As we shelter in place, they have nowhere to go. [Read]
Our Housing First Approach to Homelessness in the Bay Area
By Jacquelline Fuller, President, Google.org
In the California Bay Area, it’s estimated that there are more than 35,000 people who are homeless, making it the third largest region for homelessness in the country. The pandemic has only exacerbated this crisis.
Last year, we made a $1 billion commitment to accelerate the production of affordable housing in the Bay Area, and Google.org made a pledge to grant $50 million to community organizations working on the front lines. Google.org has since granted $7.75 million to nonprofits, to support more than 33,000 people with services like mental health care, food distribution and job training, and to house 9,000 of those individuals over the span of four years. [Read]
Google Company Announcements: A Year of Work On the Bay Area Housing and Homeless Crisis
By Rebecca Prozan, Senior Manager, California State & Local Policy, July 23, 2020
Today, we’re marking the one-year anniversary of our Bay Area housing commitment. Since last year, we’ve met with hundreds of advocates, developers and community leaders to understand how to quickly create affordable housing and support solutions to homelessness. In the Bay area, there’s a severe housing shortage of nearly 500,000 affordable units and the homelessness crisis affects around 35,000 people. So we focused our efforts on two areas: grants to assist people experiencing homelessness and investments to produce more affordable housing. [Read]
“Nobody Asks Us”: Stories From the Joe Rodota Trail
Oak Leaf, January 27, 2020
Coverage of Sonoma County’s homelessness crisis and the people who live on the trail. [Read]
Austin Tackles Homelessness With a Village of Sustainable Tiny Homes
By Lauren Jones, Dwell, March 26, 2020
Local architects from McKinney York explain their schemes for two sustainable models designed to give the formerly homeless a permanent place to call their own. [Read]
Santa Rosa Plans to Evict Sprawling Homeless Encampment in Fremont Park
By Austin Murphy, Press Democrat, July 24, 2020
Santa Rosa is making plans to evict members of the city’s latest sprawling homeless encampment. Early next week, the city will begin relocating roughly 100 residents living in Fremont Park, a 1.7-acre plaza between Fourth and Fifth streets, just a few blocks east of downtown. [Read]
Homelessness Can Be Eradicated – Fight Big Real Estate with Nithya Raman
By Abby Martin, Empire Files, February 9, 2020
Abby Martin meets with Nithya Raman, progressive candidate for LA City Council in District 4, about her campaign to end homelessness in the nation’s epicenter and how local politicians refuse to take easy actions to eradicate the phenomenon–but refuse to in the interests of big real estate developers. [Read]
Gardeners Help Homeless in Greenfield’s Energy Park
By Anita Fritz, Recorder, July 24, 2020
A group of volunteers who have been gardening in Energy Park, some for more than a decade, have formed bonds they never expected with the homeless men and women who spend time there every day. The gardeners have been bringing them water, fruit and garbage bags, and one nonprofit has installed a needle box that is emptied regularly. [Read]
Statement Re: HUD Proposed Regulations for Homeless Shelter Access for Trans and Non-Binary
National LGBTQ Task Force, Washington, DC, July 23, 2020
“This morning, the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) formally published a proposed regulation on how service providers should interpret nondiscrimination protections for transgender and nonbinary people who need access to homeless shelters. Not only does the proposed rule lay bare Carson and Trump’s transphobic views, it is riddled with misunderstandings of the law and functional impossibilities.” [Read]
City of Homelessness – Philadelphia’s transients ride out the pandemic on the city’s public trains
By Thom Nickels, City Journal, July 23, 2020
Philadelphia’s train vagabonds are a varied, distressing lot—from the small, older woman who twitches uncontrollably on the Market Street El to the younger homeless who pass through trains, carrying signs and announcing that they haven’t eaten since yesterday. “Anything will help, a sandwich, a quarter,” they plead. Commuters sometimes hear Dickensian monologues about starving children holed up in hotels or pregnant wives sitting under underpasses, waiting for those sandwiches. [Read]
Emergency Homeless Shelter Village Officially Moves Forward
By Natalie Hanson, Chico Enterprise-Record, July 23, 2020
As of Wednesday, a new emergency shelter complex to be located on the northeast end of Chico is underway for 2021. Dubbed Everhart Village, the shelter units will be located adjacent to Behavioral Health services at Rio Lindo Avenue near Cohasset Road and will house clients referred by Behavioral Health who are currently unsheltered or at risk of homelessness. [Read]
Homeless Service Providers Received Millions in PPP Loans
By Avi Bajpai, Street Sense Media, July 23, 2020
As the rest of D.C. was shutting down amid rising cases of the coronavirus this spring, at least 14 homeless service providers and community organizations received support from the Paycheck Protection Program, a relief measure designed to help cover payroll costs and keep workers employed during the pandemic. [Read]
Denver Eyes National Western Complex Lot For First Sanctioned Homeless Encampment
By Conrad Swanson, Denver Post, July 23, 2020
The National Western Complex parking lot sits as the top contender to be the location of Denver’s first sanctioned homeless encampment, and while nothing is finalized, organizers and neighbors already disagree over the site. “This is too much, goddamn it,” said Drew Dutcher, president of the Elyria and Swansea Neighborhood Association. “We’re right in the thick of it. We have homeless people roaming around in our alleys, off their meds. We’re picking up a lot of extra trash. Women don’t feel safe. People are worried about their children.” [Read]
Coronavirus Crisis Pushes SF Mayor Breed to Move More Homeless Into Permanent Shelter
By Dominic Fracassa, San Francisco Chronicle, July 21, 2020.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed unveiled a plan on Tuesday that attempts to chart the city’s course for addressing homelessness over the next two years, a proposal shaped in large part by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Breed’s “Homelessness Recovery Plan” seeks to find shelter or housing accommodations for 6,000 homeless people, a figure that includes 4,500 placements in permanent supportive housing. An estimated 1,500 of those will be new units — a figure the mayor’s office said represents the biggest increase in permanent supportive housing in the last two decades. The city will lease 1,000 of those units in the 2020-2021 fiscal year. [Read]
Judge Orders Sacramento Police To Stop Clearing Homeless Camps During COVID-19 Pandemic
By Theresa Clift, Sacramento Bee, July 17, 2020
Sacramento police violated a county health order when they cleared homeless people from public property last month without giving them a place to go, Sacramento County Superior Court judge ruled Thursday. The judge will issue a court order requiring the city to comply in the future. [Read]
Sonoma County Contract for Healdsburg Hotel Quarantine Space Worth Up To $725,000
By Tyler Silvy, Press Democrat, July 22, 2020
Sonoma County has agreed to pay up to $725,000 for the use of 60 rooms at a Healdsburg hotel to quarantine COVID-19 patients amid a surge of cases heading into the fall, according to the county’s contract with the hotel. The deal, signed late last week with the Best Western Dry Creek Inn, secured replacement space for similar county quarantine units used to house at least 122 people this spring and early summer in student dorms at Sonoma State University. The hotel contract goes to the end of August, but allows for month-to-month extensions. [Read]
Time to Invest in Affordable Housing and Education, Not Tear Gas, Batons, and State-Sanctioned Murder
By Robert Reich, Common Dreams, July 22, 2020
Some societies center on social control, others on social investment. The more societies spend on social controls, the less they have left for social investment. More police means fewer social services. American taxpayers spend $107.5 billion more on police than on public housing. It’s time to defund the police, and invest in communities. We have no time to waste. [Read]
San Diego Approves Region’s First Tiny Houses Law To Help Solve Housing Crisis
By David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, July 21, 2020
San Diego became the first city in the region Tuesday to allow homeowners to install movable “tiny houses” in their back yards. City Council members said before unanimously approving a tiny houses ordinance that tiny houses will help solve the local housing crisis by creating another affordable option for low-income residents that doesn’t require a taxpayer subsidy. [Read]
‘I’m going to die out here.’ Brutal Heat Is Even More Dangerous With Coronavirus
By Stephanie Lai, Los Angeles Times, July 22, 2020
Charlotte Oliver is well acquainted with heat. She grew up in the desert regions of the Inland Empire, where temperatures this month have reached 121 degrees. But for the 50-year-old, living with heat became an urgent matter when, amid alcohol addiction two years ago, she found herself on the streets. [Read]
Caltrans Ordered to Pay $2M For Destroying Bay Area Homeless Camps
By Andrew Chamings, SFGate, July 21, 2020
The California Department of Transportation has agreed to pay $2 million for destroying belongings during sweeps of homeless encampments from 2014 to 2019. The class-action lawsuit, filed in 2016 on behalf of unhoused Californians, claims that belongings, including, food, clothing, and medical supplies, were destroyed during the sweeps enacted by Caltrans. [Read]
Former Sonoma County Jail Inmate Dies From In-Custody Head Injury
By Nashelly Chavez, Press Democrat, July 21, 2020
A former inmate at Sonoma County Jail died Saturday at a local hospital of apparent complications from a head injury he received while incarcerated, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said Monday. On July 9, a county judge released Webber from the custody of the Sheriff’s Office. He was homeless and had been booked into the local jail on June 29 on suspicion of vandalism and violating his probation. [Read]
Stories of Fear, Hope, Survival – Portraits of life on the street during the pandemic
By Kevin Fagan, San Francisco Chronicle, July 8, 2020
For most of the 35,000 people who find themselves without a home on any given night in the Bay Area, the coronavirus crisis has been a gnarled mixture of blessing and fear. More than 4,500 of the sickest and most vulnerable have been shepherded into hotel rooms or spots in temporary trailer parks, a significant upgrade from the streets or a shelter bed. Perennially crowded shelters have been thinned out for more physical spacing, making them safer and more livable. [Read]
House Passes Pandemic Housing Bills; Pressure on Senate Republicans to support More Housing Assistance
By Chris Holden, Affordablehousingonline.com, July 14, 2020
A housing bill passed in June by the House of Representatives is one of several moves to pressure Senate Republicans into supporting major housing provisions in the next coronavirus stimulus package. Called the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020, this bill would authorize a national moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, give emergency rental assistance, and provide extra funding to federal housing programs. The bill includes all of the housing assistance in the recently passed HEROES Act, but in legislation that stands on its own. [Read]
Flowchart – State of California COVID-19 Recommended Protocol for People Experiencing Homelessness
Developed in partnership with Margot Kushel, MD and the UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative
City-sanctioned Homeless Encampment Proposed for Denver Coliseum Parking Lot
By Aaron Kremer, Business Den, July 19, 2020
Colorado Village Collaborative, a local nonprofit that’s working with the city to build and manage 10,000-square-foot campsites with port-a-potties, washing stations and 24-hour staffing, said last week that a pilot location has been proposed for the Denver Coliseum parking lot. [Read]
Eden Village to Bring Affordable Housing to Homeless in Wilmington
By Tanner Barth, WWay3, July 19, 2020
Affordable housing for the chronically homeless population is on its way to the Cape Fear with the new Eden Village. The project is set to bring 32 tiny homes to Wilmington by 2021. The tiny community will be specially designed to provide permanent homes for chronically homeless individuals including patients of the local hospital. [Read]
Sonoma County Secures New Coronavirus Quarantine Site At Best Western In Healdsburg
By Mary Callahan, Press Democrat, updated July 17, 2020
Sonoma County next week will open a new quarantine site for those in need of coronavirus isolation and lower-level care at the Best Western Dry Creek Inn in Healdsburg, where 60 rooms will be used to bolster the county’s fight to curb the pandemic’s spread. [Read]
Sacramento Homeless Advocates Declare Victory As Court Ruling Prohibits Homeless Sweeps During Pandemic
By Lonnie Wong, Fox 40, July 17, 2020
The public health order issued in June cited the danger of moving homeless people infected with COVID-19 all over the city. Homeless advocates said the court order to follow a county health mandate was cut and dry: Homeless camps cannot be broken up on public property unless officials have somewhere to house the homeless individuals. [Read]
6 Reasons Why Displacing the Homeless Must Stop, Regardless of COVID-19
By Chris Young, The Canadian Press, July 10, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted calls to suspend evictions of homeless encampments. Victoria, Edmonton, Toronto, and other cities did so. But many were soon back at it. Forcible decampment of homeless people continued, albeit with greater emphasis on securing housing. Suspending homeless camp evictions during the pandemic is a start, but it is not enough. The problem is failed housing policies, not COVID-19. [Read]
City of Santa Rosa Requests the Community for Help in Shaping the Future of Santa Rosa
The General Plan Update project will provide an important opportunity for the community to discuss ways to ensure housing for all, improve neighborhood quality and connectivity, foster economic development, improve public health, create more equitable access to community amenities and services, enhance education, and reinforce environmental stewardship. Community online meetings (July 18 & 25) and public review and comment period (June 25-July 25). [Read]
Philadelphia Delays Unhoused Encampment Eviction as CDC Says “Let them Remain” & Stop COVID Spread
By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, July 17, 2020
CDC guidelines state, “If individual housing options are not available, allow people who are living unsheltered or in encampments to remain where they are.” Despite this, sweeps have been conducted in New York, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Denver and elsewhere… Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement Thursday the camp, “casts an important light on the racial inequities in our society that impact homelessness,” and said he’s committed to taking steps to provide affordable housing. [Read/Watch/Listen]
PD Editorial: Progress on Homelessness But Unfulfilled Promises, Too
Editorial Board, Press Democrat, July 15, 2020
The arrival of two dozen trailers from the state is the latest in a series of encouraging signs that our community is making progress toward providing shelter for the homeless. But local officials still have critical deadlines to meet — and more than a few promises to fulfill — to ensure progress continues. [Read]
Will California Guarantee Housing as a Right? Here’s How the Pandemic Is Shaping the Debate
By Molly Solomon, KQED, May 21, 2020
California’s housing crisis is driving state lawmakers to think big. One question they’re considering: How can the Golden State guarantee housing as a right? This week, state legislators looked at two different approaches that tackle the legal right to housing and how the coronavirus pandemic is shaping the debate. [Read news article] [Read AB-2405]
Sonoma County Zeros In On New Coronavirus Quarantine Site
By Tyler Silvy, Press Democrat, July 15, 2020
The unidentified location would house people with mild to moderate coronavirus symptoms who need to isolate from vulnerable family members, but it also could serve as a backup location for virus patients and ease pressure on area hospitals should there be a surge of area infections at one time, health officials said.
Barbie Robinson, director of the county Department of Health Services, said Wednesday. “We hope to have the contracts in place by the end of the week.” [Read]
Apple Taps First $400 Million of $2.5 Billion California Housing Pledge
By Louis Hansen, Mercury News, updated July 14, 2020
Making a downpayment on its housing pledge, Apple announced Monday it has committed $400 million to affordable housing projects this year across California, including immediate assistance for struggling Bay Area tenants and four, new low-income projects across the region. [Read]
Information Meeting hosted by NAMI Sonoma County Hosting re 2020 Ballot Measure to Support Mental Health, Homeless, Housing, & Substance Use Services
Wed, July 22, 2020, 5:00 – 5:45 pm
Speakers include Sonoma County’s Barbie Robinson, Bill Carter & Leah Benz.
To participate, email email@example.com. Read ballot details here.
Project-Based Voucher Waitlist on Studio and 1-Bedroom Units in Cloverdale and Petaluma, CA Open
The Sonoma County Housing Authority will accept applications from June 26 – July 31, 2020 for new Project-Based Voucher Waitlists tied to studio and 1 bedroom units at Kings Valley Senior Apartments in Cloverdale, and Lindberg Senior Apartments in Petaluma.
Applications may be completed online at www.waitlistcheck.com/CA085. If you require a paper application, please contact the Housing Authority office by calling (707) 565-7501. Applications are due Friday, July 31, 2020, by 5 p.m. if submitted in person at the Housing Authority’s offices, or by 11:59 p.m. if submitted online. [Read more]
State Trailers Arrive to House Vunerable Unsheltered at Fairgrounds
News of the North Bay, July 13, 2020
Twenty four state trailers will be in place by late Monday at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds to help house vunerable homeless people who will be moved from Sonoma State University housing this week. [Read]
Bay Area Homelessness: 97 Answers to your Questions
By Kevin Fagan, SF Chronicle, updated July 11, 2020
Ask any dozen people in the Bay Area what they think of homelessness, and you’ll get a dozen different answers. For the past two years, we asked Chronicle readers to submit questions about this most vexing, heartbreaking, seemingly insoluble problem in the Bay Area, and received more than 700 submissions. [Read]
Racist Zoom Bomb Ends Sonoma County Meeting on Homeless Solutions
By Will Schmitt, Press Democrat, July 11, 2020
Digital intruders with racist and violent messages stormed into a virtual Friday meeting of a Sonoma County agency tasked with ending homelessness, forcing officials to call off the meeting and spawning a hate crime investigation by Santa Rosa police. [Read]
Report Finds 1% of Sonoma County Residents Account for Over 25% of Jail, Shelter, and Behavioral Health Utilization
Press release by Elsa Augustine & Evan White, July 7, 2020
Counties across California report that a large bulk of government programs and services are used by a relatively small group of familiar faces who cycle in and out of hospitals, homeless shelters, behavioral health programs, and jails. [Read press release] [Read report]
COVID-19 Crisis Only Makes Homeless Solution Clearer
By Jennifer Loving and Tracey Edwards, Mercury News, July 12, 2020
Since the pandemic began, we’ve known that our homeless neighbors are among the most vulnerable members of our community. Those without stable housing not only face greater difficulty taking preventive actions, they are often in poorer health than the average resident. They also are disproportionately people of color, yet another sign of how the suffering in our community is not felt equally… We need to take steps to speed up the development process that continues to slow down all types of housing production. Several promising streamlining bills have been introduced in the State legislature, including AB 1907 that would provide a CEQA exemption for supportive housing, shelters and many other affordable projects. [Read]
Sonoma County Advances Bid to Purchase Hotel for Homeless Quarters
By Will Schmitt, Press Democrat, July 9, 2020
Sonoma County on Thursday agreed to to take a closer look at the potential purchase of a 42-room hotel in downtown Santa Rosa that would be modified and used to house the area’s COVID-vulnerable homeless population. [Read]
Update on Efforts to Address Encampments in the Corporate Center Parkway Area
Posted in City of Santa Rosa Newsletter, July 9, 2020
The City’s Homeless Encampment Assistance Process (HEAP) focused efforts on Thursday, July 9 to address encampments located in the Corporate Center Parkway area. This follows prior actions by the City to address illegal dumping into storm drains, vehicle code violations and criminal activity as well as connecting individuals within these encampments with support and services. [Read]
Joe Biden’s Surprisingly Visionary Housing Plan, Explained
By Matthew Vglesias, Vox, July 9, 2020
Joe Biden has a housing policy agenda that is ambitious, technically sound, and politically feasible, and that would — if implemented — be life-changing for millions of low-income and housing-insecure households. According to original modeling by Columbia University scholars, it could cut child poverty by a third, narrow racial opportunity gaps, and potentially drive progress on the broader middle-class affordability crisis in the largest coastal cities as well. The plan hasn’t stirred an intraparty debate or really much attention at all, which could make it politically feasible to enact.[Read]
HOME Sonoma County Leadership Council Meeting Agenda Package Available (POSTPONED due to technical difficulties)
Meeting on Friday, July 10 at 1 pm by zoom. Read meeting agenda and package here.
How to Run for City or Town Council
Presentation by the League of Women Voters of Sonoma County on Wednesday, July 15 at 6 pm.
Esther Lemus, Town Council of Windsor Vice Mayor, Victoria Fleming, Santa Rosa City Council Vice Mayor, Marta Cruz-Concepcion, Cloverdale City Councilwoman, and former Santa Rosa City Councilman, Lee Pierce will share how they successfully ran for office and what kinds of decisions are made by council members. Also hear about the nuts & bolts of running a campaign from League member Karen Weeks, including filing to run, deadlines, and other requirements to run a successful campaign.
Join via YouTube Live at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvppI3yS3Hcus_mTECDsbFA, or Live on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/lwvsonomacounty/
Big Skills Tiny Homes Teaches on the Job
By Kary Hess, Bohemian, July 8, 2020
The homes may be tiny, but the career options are big with Big Skills Tiny Homes. This Marin nonprofit provides self-discovery, mentoring and skill development to students interested in the trades. [Read article]. [Read about Big Skills Tiny Homes]
Sonoma County Supervisors Consider Hotel Purchase As SSU Exit Spurs Search For Homeless Quarters
By Tyler Silvy, Press Democrat, July 9, 2020
The proposed purchase of the Hotel Azura could act as a suitable replacement, county officials hope, serving as a centralized shelter that would get more of the area’s most vulnerable homeless people off the streets while easing strain on the existing shelter network. [Read]
San Francisco Takes Steps To Find Long-Term Housing For Some Homeless Now In Hotels
By Jay Barmann, SFist, July 9, 2020
At least 200 of the homeless people currently residing in hotels due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be placed in long-term housing, subsidized by philanthropic funds for 18 months. [Read]
Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Meeting
Documents on the July 7, 2020 meeting of the Board of Supervisors are available on the County webpage. Video of the meeting is not yet available, but check on this same webpage later. [Read]
Sonoma County Extends Disputed Homeless Encampment Indefinitely
By Tyler Silvy, Press Democrat, July 7 2020
A split Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday agreed to extend operations of a county-sponsored homeless camp near Oakmont indefinitely, defying staunch opposition from neighbors and an equally entrenched but politically isolated board chair who cast the lone no vote. [Read]
Sonoma County Homeless Census Finds 7% decline in Population Despite High Visibility
By Mary Callahan, Press Democrat, July 7, 2020
A preliminary report presented to the Board of Supervisors this week shows 2,745 people were tallied during the Feb. 28 point-in-time count, compared with 2,951 a year earlier, a drop of 206 people. [Read]
Santa Rosa Plans New Shelter for 60 People at Samuel Jones Hall
By Will Schmitt, Press Democrat, July 6, 2020.
Santa Rosa plans to restore its homeless shelter capacity by building a 60-person structure later this year in the parking lot of the Samuel L. Jones Hall shelter near the city’s southwest corner.
The move would come about the same time Santa Rosa aims to wind down the managed homeless camp established in May outside the Finley Community Center. That first-ever sanctioned camp for Santa Rosa was created to get some of the scores of campers living at downtown underpasses along Highway 101 into safer shelter. [Read]
Documents show SSU told Sonoma County in late May that deal for coronavirus care site wouldn’t be extended
By Tyler Silvy, Press Democrat, July 7, 2020
Top Sonoma County health officials have known for at least five weeks that Sonoma State University would end in June its contract with the county for COVID-19 quarantine and isolation space at the university dorms, a revelation Monday that underscores the county’s failure to identify a replacement site amid a rising coronavirus caseload. [Read]
Sonoma County Scrambles to Secure Extra Hospital Beds After Sonoma State University Cancels Contract
By Tyler Silvy, Press Democrat, July 5, 2020
Sonoma County officials are scrambling amid a harrowing spike of coronavirus cases and deaths to secure extra space if needed for hospital patients, in the wake of a Sonoma State University decision to reject the county’s request to continue using the campus. [Read]
A Mini-Urban Miracle,’ New Berkeley Homeless Housing Could Be Model for the State
By Emilie Raguso, Berkeleyside, July 10, 2020
On Thursday night, the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board unanimously approved a new project from Panoramic Interests for a 39-unit complex made from modular construction to house people who were formerly homeless. Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency(BOSS), a 49-year-old Berkeley nonprofit, will run the operation, which could open within a year, barring delays. [Read]
Berkeley’s Most Ambitious Homeless Housing Project Ever Breaks Ground
By Emilie Raguso, Berkeleyside, July 7, 2020
The project also includes 89 units of affordable housing, at 50%-60% of the area median income, that will be available to the general public on a lottery basis. It is slated to open in 2022. [Read]
Project Roomkey and Project Homekey Updates, Week of July 5, 2020
From California Department of Social Service
The CDSS Housing and Homelessness Branch sends these weekly program updates relevant to Project Roomkey. We also hold “office hours” every other Tuesday at 11:00am to provide an opportunity for local Project Roomkey leads to share opportunities, challenges and ask questions. Our next “office hours” call will take place on Tuesday, July 14 from 11:00am – 12:00pm. [Read]
Sonoma County Poised to Make Homeless Near Oakmont Permanent
By Tyler Silvy, Press Democrat, July 3, 2020
A pop-up homeless shelter once envisioned as a temporary site on Santa Rosa’s eastern flank could soon be designated a permanent fixture at the Los Guilicos Juvenile Justice Center campus. Sonoma County supervisors will discuss the sanctioned encampment at their Tuesday meeting [Read details of July 7th meeting], and Chair Susan Gorin said the board will most likely be asked by county staff to make the camp permanent, a move that if approved would break a promise to residents of the nearby Oakmont Village senior community. [Read]
City of Santa Rosa Appoints Community Engagement Division Director
City of Santa Rosa News Flash, June 29, 2020
The City of Santa Rosa has hired Magali Telles as the next Community Engagement Division Director. The position is a key role for the City as Telles will be the lead on efforts to create equitable and effective engagement with all City Departments and the community. [Read]
UC Hastings Proves That If You Want Homeless Moved Off the Streets in SF (During the Pandemic), You Should Sue
By Jay Barnmann, SFist, July 1, 2020
The effort that began two weeks ago to move hundreds of homeless tent-dwellers off the sidewalks of the Tenderloin has succeeded in relocating at least 388 people — and it all seems to be thanks to threats of legal action that were taken by UC Hastings and a neighborhood merchants association in early May. [Read]
Governor Newsom Visits Project Roomkey Site in Bay Area to Announce “Homekey,” the Next Phase in State’s COVID-19 Response to Protect Homeless Californians
Press release from Governor Newsom’s office, June 30, 2020
Governor announces Homekey, the next phase of COVID-19 response to protect homeless Californians. State and counties will spend upwards of $1 billion to purchase hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings and tiny homes and provide services to the homeless. [Read]
Officials: Sonoma County Closed Joe Rodota Trail to Prevent Another Homeless Encampment
By Tyler Silvy, Press Democrat, June 29, 2020
As city leaders planned sweeps of homeless encampments beneath Highway 101 in downtown Santa Rosa, Sonoma County officials tailored the county’s maintenance timeline for work on portions of the Joe Rodota Trail to ensure its closure amid the evictions. [Read]
Sierra Pacific Donates Reeds Avenue Site For Proposed Homeless Navigation Center
By Julie Zeeb, Red Bluff Daily News, June 30, 2020
Sierra Pacific Industries has stepped to the plate to join with Louisiana-Pacific Corp. in donating property to be used for a Homeless Navigation Center in Tehama County. SPI North Sierra Community Relations Manager Kristy Lanham announced the donation to the Tehama County Board of Supervisors at Tuesday’s meeting. The board approved a letter of support for donation of the 7.4 acre site to the Poor And The Homeless (PATH) or another non-profit. [Read]
Affordable Senior Apartments in Cloverdale and Petaluma Project-based Voucher Waitlist now open.
The Sonoma County Housing Authority will accept applications from June 26 – July 31, 2020 for new Project-Based Voucher Waitlists tied to studio and 1 bedroom units at Kings Valley Senior Apartments in Cloverdale, and Lindberg Senior Apartments in Petaluma. Studio unit waitlists are for households consisting of one to two persons. One bedroom waitlists are for households consisting of one to four persons.
Those interested in applying to the Kings Valley Senior Apartments studio or one bedroom Project-Based Voucher Waitlist and/or the Lindberg Senior Apartments Waitlist, MUST submit an application during this application period. A separate application is required for each waitlist.
The Housing Authority will conduct a random lottery to determine applicants’ placement on each waitlist. The one-bedroom waitlists will be limited to 200 applicants each and the studio waitlist will be limited to 100 applicants.
Applications may be completed online at www.waitlistcheck.com/CA085. If you require a paper application, please contact the Housing Authority office by calling (707) 565-7501.
Applications are due Friday, July 31, 2020, by 5 p.m. if submitted in person at the Housing Authority’s offices, or by 11:59 p.m. if submitted online.
Santa Rosa Begins Clearing Homeless Camps Under Highway 101
By Chantelle Lee and Lori Carter, Press Democrat, June 24, 2020
Santa Rosa authorities Wednesday began rousting about 90 homeless people living in several large encampments that cropped up at Highway 101 underpasses in the city over the past several months.
City officials ordered people to leave from underpasses stretching from Third Street to College Avenue. Signs blocked off roads to traffic, and boxes filled with personal belongings lined sidewalks as residents packed up and left. [Read]
Sacramento Civil Rights Lawyer Creates Self-governing, Safe Spaces for Homeless
By Andie Judson, ABC10, June 23, 2020
Mark Merin has made a career out of representing working and lower class clients, including the homeless. Even using his own home and properties to help house them. [Read and Watch Video]
Pandemic-Emptied Hotels Could Become Affordable Housing, City Officials Suggest
By Yoav Gonen, The City, June 25, 2020
City officials are looking to capitalize on a distressed tourism industry by converting commercial hotels into affordable housing — including creating single room occupancy units known as SROs. [Read]
Converting a Garage into ADU for Homeless
The Living Room, a shelter for women and their families in Santa Rosa, recently converted a garage into a studio apartment for the homeless. The garage was part of the house purchased by The Living Room (TLR) in April 2019 with money lent by a group of investors, and are currently housing several previously unsheltered women and families. The converted studio apartment is about 390 sq.ft. The project costs of less than $80,000 was covered with money from grant, and individual donations, donated materials, and pro-bono service for the engineering service. The unit will be ready for occupancy by early July. See a video of the unit here.
Help Shape the Future of Santa Rosa!
The City of Santa Rosa is asking for the community to help shape the future of Santa Rosa. The recent fires, housing crisis, electrical grid blackouts, and calls for social justice and equality provide a backdrop for an immensely important discussion on how the City will grow and “bounce forward” to become an even more sustainable, resilient, healthy, and inclusive community. The City is updating its General Plan to tackle these and many other issues that are important to the community.
The Community Involvement Strategy is available on the City’s Santa Rosa General Plan Updatewebpage. Comments received no later than July 24th will be presented with the Community Involvement Strategy to the City Council in August. Send your comments and suggestions to GPComment@srcity.org. Join us at one of the following on-line Community Conversations meetings to learn more about the Community Involvement Strategy and the General Plan Update.
- Thursday, July 2, 3 pm
- Thursday, July 16, 3 pm
- Saturday, July 18, 10 am
Santa Rosa groups help homeless register for $1,200 government stimulus checks
By Austin Murphy, Press Democrat, June 19, 2020
In oppressive Thursday afternoon heat and with little fanfare, they broke through the $100,000 barrier.
Under a pair of tents pitched on Challenger Way in west Santa Rosa, a cadre of do-gooders helped vulnerable people overcome the small challenges preventing them from collecting a large windfall from Uncle Sam. [Read]
Video – Prioritizing ESG-CV Resources
Marc Dones (National Innovation Service) and Nan Roman (National Alliance to End Homelessness) discuss how to best use ESG-CV funds in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 6:09 mins, posted on June 23, 2020 [View]
by artist Susan Cornelis on her blog – Conversations With the Muse, and Life Shared in Sketches, June 2020
Victoria is a member of Homeless Action! and a board member of SAVS Sonoma Villages.
Susan wrote: “Victoria is one of the first ladies I met a year and a half ago at The Living Room. She was in the knitting group and later I would see her in the art groups. One day she told me about her connection with Homeless Action, a group of grassroots activists in Sonoma County working towards ending the suffering of people who do not have a home.” [Read]
Liz Theoharis: Organizing the Rich or the Poor?
Which America Will Be Ours After the Pandemic?
Posted by Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism, June 5, 2020
“We look to the rich for answers to the very problems they are often responsible for creating and from which they benefit. The wreckage of this pandemic moment is a bitter reminder of this affliction, as well as a signpost suggesting how we must emerge from this crisis a just and more equitable nation. With a possible depression ahead and more social unrest on the rise, isn’t it time to stop vindicating the wealthiest people in this country and look instead to leadership from those who were living in a depression before Covid-19 even hit and already organizing and protesting?” [Read]
By the Numbers – Housing in Sonoma County
Posted by Generation Housing, June 1, 2020
This is a series of charts showing housing data in Sonoma County, including median home prices, median rents, job growth to housing production, severely crowded renter households, building permits, homeownership, housing production, funding, etc.
Generation Housing (Gen H) has an inspiring new vision of housing and quality of life in Sonoma County, advocating for and supporting the action to build the housing our community needs to thrive. [Read]
Close to Home: Privilege and Inequity in the Time of COVID
Written by James Gore, Sonoma County Board of Supervisors
Press Democrat, May 31, 2020
200 Homeless Minneapolis Residents Turned a Hotel Into a Communal Sanctuary
Lauren Kaori Gurley, Vice, June 3, 2020
The Sheraton, just blocks from where police killed George Floyd, is being managed as a commune, run by the residents and without leaders. [Read]
Update on Current Homeless Services Efforts in Santa Rosa
Posted by City of Santa Rosa, May 29, 2020
During this public health emergency, the City of Santa Rosa has been working on several fronts to assist individuals experiencing homelessness, so as to protect this vulnerable population and the community at large from greater spread of COVID-19.
* Addressing Homelessness During the Public Health Emergency
* Actions to Resolve Encampments I Parks and the Pubic Right of Way
* Ensuring Those in Encampments Are Offered Available Services and Shelter
* The Longer Term Plan
Notes on Guerneville Town Hall Virtual Meeting on June 17, 2020
Recorded by Grace Cheung-Schulman
- Leo Chyi – Sonoma County Fifth District
- Dr. Jason Cunningham – Doctor with West County Health Services (WCHS)
- Lynda Hopkins – Sonoma County Supervisor Fifth District
- Elise VanDyne – Field Rep for Lynda Hopkins
- Cyndi Foreman – Sonoma County Fire District
- Tim Miller – West County Community Service (WCCS)
- Bert Whitaker – Sonoma County Regional Parks Director
Tim Miller –
- Sonoma County will be setting up a temporary Tent Encampment for 25 people starting July 1 until December 1, 2020, borrowing from example from Finley Center Tent Encampment in Santa Rosa.
- The Camp will be in Guerneville River Park across the pedestrian bridge from downtown Guerneville.
- This location is chosen because it is easy to isolate. Available sewage, size, location are all suitable.There will be fences around the Camp.
- The “standing tents” will be spaced 12 feet apart. (An improvement over the Finley Center short tents).
- This is intended to act as a stable location to enable navigation center services where the homeless will be provided services, screened, and the high risk cases will be transferred to the SSU shelter.
- There will be 24/7 management with “harm reduction” model working with AA and other drug treatment services.
- No drugs will be allowed in the Camp.
- The goal is to keep people in the Camp. Will provide food and water, and the bathroom is already available in the Park.
- Both COVID-19 and fire risk are the two major concerns for this decision.
- Those invited to the Camp includes those currently in homeless shelter in Guerneville (which will be closed), the homeless currently on the street in Guerneville, and those recommended by the Health Center due to health condition, totaling about 25 people.
- That’s the plan, but can’t coerce people to go.
- WCCS has strong partnership with SAY, and will refer homeless youth to SAY.
- WCCS moved 82 people into housing last year.
- The Camp can accommodate 25 people, but will work to rotate them out.
- Those moving into the Camp can bring their belongings with them. (But not clear what will happen to their things when they move into the winter shelter after December 1st).
- There is a budget for Clean River Alliance to provide trash service
- It costs $60,000 per month running cost for fencing, monitoring ins and outs, lighting for 5 months. Probably also add cost of tents.
Bert Whitaker –
- There are already homeless people living in the Park.
- The park is ready to provide site for temporary shelter.
- The last PIT census counted 250 in the West County unincorporated area not including Sebastopol. (So this only takes in 10% of the homeless in this area).
Dr Cunningham –
- The encampment will be for people over 65 with underlying health conditions and currently homeless.
- WCHS will provide “street medicine” like temperature checks. This takes a lot of manpower. So an encampment with a navigation center will provide focused services. Also positive cases of COVID-19 will be transported to SSU shelter.
- The objective is to stabilize the homeless in the camp, not to draw in more homeless into the area.
- Also help them find permanent housing.
- They are trying to do things WITH people, not TO people.
- He is concerned with lack of social distancing in current homeless group situations.
- Some of the homeless are already his patient, and will continue to be treated.
- Fire risk is real and there will be rules to mitigate fire risk.
Cyndi Foreman –
- This arrangement would be in the best interest of the fire fighters and the residents of Guerneville.
- The Camp would have management so as not to draw down on emergency fire services.
- Propane tanks would not be allowed in the camp. Also should be diligent with materials brought into the site.
- Smoking is a concern.
Lynda Hopkins –
- Finley and Los Guilicos has been successful in moving people into permanent housing, undertake detox, etc.
- The plan is to have an encampment in each of the Sonoma County Districts.
Supreme Court Rules on Redaction Costs
In National Lawyers Guild, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter v. City of Hayward, the Supreme Court today holds that a requester under the Public Records Act need not pay costs associated with redacting protected materials from an electronic record before the record is disclosed.
The City of Hayward charged over $3,000 for 40 hours its employees had spent editing digital police body camera footage. The recordings were made during 2014 protests of grand jury decisions not to indict police officers involved in the killings of unarmed African-Americans Eric Garner and Michael Brown. The court’s decision comes as protests continue over the killing of another unarmed African-American, George Floyd, in Minneapolis. [Read more] [Legal document]
A Window onto an American Nightmare
Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, May 25, 2020
As the homelessness crisis and the coronavirus crisis converge, what can we learn from one city’s struggles? (Long article, but extremely detailed and well-written). [Read more]
City-sponsored homeless camp at Finley Community Center draws dozens of residents
Will Schmitt, Press Democrat, May 25, 2020
One week after Santa Rosa opened its first sanctioned homeless camp, dozens of people have moved from outdoor encampments to a parking lot near the Finley Community Center, where the vast majority of new residents of the temporary shelter site have stuck around with few problems, officials said. [Read more]
2020 Consolidated Plan and One Year Action Plan Now Available for Public comment
By Sonoma County Community Development Commission, May 1, 2020
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), requires jurisdictions receiving federal funds from Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnerships, and Federal Emergency Solutions Grant programs to develop and submit a Five-Year Consolidated Plan. The plan identifies the needs of lower-income persons in the locality and the proposed actions to be taken to serve those needs. [Read more]
Download Draft 2020 Consolidated Plan and One Year Action Plan (PDF: 2 MB)
Safe Social Distancing Program at Finley Parking Lot
Posted by City of Santa Rosa, updated May 20, 2020
The City of Santa Rosa is establishing a Safe Social Distancing area, in the City-owned parking lot at Finley Community Center, for temporary use by vulnerable unsheltered individuals amid the coronavirus pandemic. To help answer questions about the program, the following FAQs have been developed and will continue to be updated as we receive additional questions from the community. [Read more]
* General Questions about the Program
* Site & Program Operations
* Public Safety
* Homelessness Amid Coronavirus
PD Editorial: Santa Rosa needs to include public in homeless plans
Press Democrat Editorial Board, May 24, 2020
Santa Rosa officials cut more than a few corners as they established the city’s first sanctioned homeless camp, which opened this past week at the Finley Community Center.
There wasn’t a City Council vote or a public hearing.
The City didn’t even notify Dr. Sundari Mase, the county’s public health officer, who has largely determined what can stay open and what must remain closed during the coronavirus pandemic. [Read more]
Innovations in Affordable Housing Virtual Summit 2020 – August 11-12, 2020
Invitation to register posted by PopHLC (Population Health Learning Collaborative), May 8, 2020. [Watch video introduction] [Register here]
A sample of talk categories that may be of interest to homeless advocates like you:
- Innovative Small Residences (Tiny Homes and ADUs)
- Helping the Individual Who Need Housing
- Reducing the Construction Cost of Housing
- Zoning, Coding, and other Local Policies
- Innovations in Home Sharing, Ownership, and Rental Models
- Providing Housing for the Unhoused and High-Risk Groups
Safe Social Distancing Program for Unsheltered Individuals
Posted by City of Santa Rosa, May 6, 2020
The City of Santa Rosa is preparing to open a City-owned parking lot for temporary use to provide safer social-distancing space for unsheltered individuals amid the coronavirus pandemic. A section of the parking lot at Finley Community Center located at 2060 W. College Ave, will serve as the managed site and will include up to 70 tents, with each tent accommodating an individual or couple. The 24,600 square foot parking lot space to be utilized is located between the Person Senior Wing building and the Finley tennis courts. [Read more]
COVID-19 Webinar Recording Now Available May 12, 2020
Webinar presented by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness: Operating Isolation and Quarantine Facilities and Providing Medical, Behavioral Health, and Substance Use Treatment: Lessons Learned from King County. [Read more]
New Resource: The COVID-19 Online Learning Series Starts May 11, 2020
National Alliance to End Homelessness and National Health Care for the Homeless Council have developed the COVID-19 Online Learning Series.This online course curriculum is designed to provide training and materials to aid in community responses to COVID-19 among people experiencing homelessness, and can support broader CoC homeless response.
The COVID-19 Online Learning Series courses are available free of charge for the first 2,500 users, courtesy of the Kaiser Permanente National Community Benefit Fund at the East Bay Community Foundation. Once 2,500 spaces have been filled, these courses will remain available at a fee. [Read more]
Homeless System Response: Changes to Coordinated Entry
Prioritization to Support and Respond to COVID-19 – May 7, 2020
As Continuums of Care (CoCs) across the country respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, many are asking about the role of Coordinated Entry (CE) in their response efforts. HUD strongly encourages CoCs to contact local public health departments, Healthcare for the Homeless agencies, and other local health partners to ensure the unique needs and opportunities related to the homeless service system are incorporated. CoCs can take steps now to implement community changes to further protect and prioritize families and individuals experiencing homelessness. Coordinated Entry remains a requirement for CoC and ESG projects and can be used to meet urgent housing needs associated with COVID-19 risk factors. [Read more]
- Changes to Coordinated Entry Prioritization to support and respond to COVID-19
- What populations need to be prioritized for permanent housing due to COVID-19?
Housing Now! 2020 Podcast launched – March 2, 2020
In this inaugural episode, Paul Boden from the Western Regional Advocacy Project and Savina Martin from the Committee to Reestablish the National Union of the Homeless described the ground work of ending homelessness in the experience of those most impacted. With their powerful advocacy voices, Paul and Savina challenge us to understand the structural causes of homelessness and the importance of elevating the voice of those with lived experience. [Listen]
Outsiders – A Podcast by KNKX and the Seattle Times’ Project Homeless
Homelessness on the West Coast is rising to crisis levels at a time of historic economic growth and prosperity. Why?
KNKX Public Radio and The Seattle Times’ Project Homeless spent one year in a city that’s grappling with homelessness. What’s it like to live outside for months on end? What’s it like when tents come to your neighborhood? What new solutions can city leaders find?
Listen to Outsiders podcast, or subscribe on your favorite podcast app. New episodes drop every Wednesday. [Learn more]
This is a collection of local, regional, national, and international news and media reports on homelessness in the form of an Excel spreadsheet which can view it on your browser, searchable, sortable, with clickable hyperlinks, and downloadable. It is being updated continuously. Please check back often. Click here.