In January 2017, the City Council adopted a Housing First Strategy and FY 2016/2017 Work Plan to address homelessness in Santa Rosa through a comprehensive strategy. It directs that all homeless service resources and efforts be viewed and evaluated as part of a comprehensive community-wide program facilitating the transition of individuals and families experiencing homelessness into permanent housing. This means that all City funding considerations or initiatives (either directly or through third party contracts), permitted uses, land use policies, etc., that are devoted to providing a service to those experiencing homelessness shall be aligned with the Federal and State Housing First model.
The City is investing in Housing First through its support of the Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST), a street outreach team. HOST has resources dedicated for rapid re-housing which provides limited term rental assistance and case management support. Street outreach and rapid re-housing are key elements of the Housing First approach.
In an April 2017 Council Meeting, a motion was carried to convene a series of Special Meetings to give direction to staff in the development of a comprehensive homeless strategy and the feasibility of partnering in a countywide strategic plan. Planning is underway to coordinate these meetings.