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Sonoma County 2020 Point-In-Time Homeless Count Showed Reduction In County Homelessness

in People

Santa Rosa, CA – November 18, 2020 – Sonoma County’s 2020 Point-in-Time Homeless Count report released this week shows that the number of people experiencing homelessness in Sonoma County decreased by 7% since 2019. The reduction from 2,951 to 2,745 in 2020 was due in large part to an injection of more than $11 million from the Board of Supervisors to fund the Los Guilicos Village campus, shared housing and master leasing options, along with increased funding from the State of California and intensive outreach and care coordination of critical services by the County’s Accessing Coordinated Care & Empowering Self-Sufficiency initiative.

“This year’s point-in-time count demonstrates that Sonoma County’s efforts to provide shelter for some of our most vulnerable residents is moving us in the right direction,” said Susan Gorin, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “Solving homelessness is a major priority for the County, and we must continue to bring individuals into housing with supportive services to maximize their chances of success, particularly during this pandemic.”

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Sonoma County Buys Hotel To House Homeless Vulnerable To COVID

in Housing

SONOMA COUNTY, CA — The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved the purchase Tuesday of a hotel in downtown Santa Rosa for $7.95-million. The hotel will house homeless people who are most vulnerable to developing COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Funds for the purchase of Hotel Azura, 635 Healdsburg Ave., were supplied by the state of California through its Project Homekey program, county officials said Tuesday in a news release.

Once escrow closes next week, the county will convert Hotel Azura into interim housing using Project Homekey funds secured by the county earlier this year.

Hotel Azura has 44 recently remodeled rooms in the center of Santa Rosa, with capacity to house 66 people.

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Sonoma County secures housing for vulnerable homeless individuals

in Housing

Today the Board of Supervisors approved the purchase of Hotel Azura in Santa Rosa using $7.95 million in funds supplied by the state through the Project Homekey program. Sonoma County’s procurement of Hotel Azura will provide additional temporary housing for vulnerable individuals experiencing homelessness. Sonoma County expects to close escrow next week and proceed with converting Hotel Azura into interim housing, using Project Homekey funds secured by the County earlier this year from the State of California.

Hotel Azura offers 44 recently remodeled rooms located in the center of Santa Rosa, with the capacity to accommodate 66 individuals.

“Adding Hotel Azura into our housing portfolio will give us the opportunity to bring more of our COVID-19 vulnerable individuals who are experiencing homelessness into supportive housing, with a path to permanent housing,” said Chair of the Board of Supervisors Susan Gorin. ”I applaud the state for helping counties pursue housing that truly meets people’s needs, with supportive services and access to grocery stores, medical services and transportation.” Individuals experiencing homelessness who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 will have priority access to this housing resource.

Continue Reading on Sonoma County Gazette

Homeless People Gather to Grieve in Santa Rosa

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Homeless people and their friends will gather this Saturday, Oct. 24 at 2 pm at Olive Park in Santa Rosa, California in commemoration of the lives of those who have died while living outside. They will walk to the fish sculpture at Prince Greenway Park on Santa Rosa Avenue near downtown for a memorial ceremony.

A Walk to Remember

Dubbed “A Walk to Remember,” the event is an opportunity for friends and family members to grieve the approximately thirty people who die without a home every year in Sonoma County. It honors the sacred worth of unsheltered people in their lives and in their deaths.

“We would really love it if our fellow neighbors could come out to show your support and see that we are human too,” said Lisa Swaney, one of the homeless organizers of the event.

Continue Reading on Sonoma County Gazette

State questions $8 million price tag Sonoma County plans to pay for Santa Rosa hotel to house homeless

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While county health and housing leaders maintain hope a state grant program to curb homelessness amid the coronavirus pandemic will help the county buy the Sebastopol Inn, the state is withholding money for another hotel local officials want because of questions about how much it’s worth.

Sonoma County is set to pay at least $3 million more than the appraised value of Hotel Azura, a downtown Santa Rosa hotel where it plans to house some of the area’s homeless population, county documents show.

County officials say that number, which the county provided to the state Aug. 13 more than a month after signing an agreement to buy the hotel for $7.9 million, was simply a placeholder. An official appraisal, due this week, will set the course for ongoing negotiations with the state.

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Santa Rosa begins clearing homeless camps under Highway 101

in Housing/News
Kent Porter/The Press Democrat
Kent Porter/The Press Democrat

Santa Rosa authorities began Wednesday trying to relocate about 90 homeless people living in several large encampments that have amassed at Highway 101 underpasses in the city over the past several months.

City homeless outreach specialists, police, public works employees and other city workers began removing the people and their belongings from underpasses stretching from Third Street to College Avenue Wednesday morning. They’d been alerted multiple times in the past few weeks that the operation would be occurring, said David Gouin, Santa Rosa housing and community services director.

Nineteen people had accepted housing assistance offers from the city and agreed to move, Gouin said. The others have been asked to stay in touch with outreach workers in case they change their minds.

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