COVID-19 Homeless Services

Tent setup at Finley

The City of Santa Rosa is working to support individuals experiencing homelessness to protect this vulnerable population and the community at large from greater spread of COVID-19. Following the Order of the Sonoma County Public Health Officer on March 17, 2020 and guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the City has taken several steps to address homelessness amid the coronavirus pandemic.

  1. Santa Rosa Homeless Shelter to Reopen for Intakes

    Samuel L. Jones Hall Homeless Shelter will reopen Friday, Aug. 27 with enhanced safety protocols to protect residents and staff and to help prevent future COVID transmission Read on...
  1. COVID Cases at City’s Homeless Shelter

    Updated as of August 25th to provide the status on COVID cases at Samuel L. Jones Hall Homeless Shelter, and to announce plans for the reopening of the shelter for new residents Read on...
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  1. City Actions to Date
  2. County Support
  3. Homelessness Amid Coronavirus

City Actions to Address Homelessness During COVID-19

  • Motel rooms were provided for at-risk sheltered and unsheltered individuals. At-risk individuals (aged 65 or older or with preexisting medical conditions) identified at the Samuel L. Jones Hall Homeless Shelter as well as individuals residing in encampments were relocated to the Sandman Hotel. The City phased out the use of these motel rooms for individuals experiencing homelessness beginning in late April 2021.
  • Sanitation facilities were provided for unsheltered individuals.  In coordination with the County of Sonoma, portable toilets and hand washing stations were placed at or near known encampments within the City to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Additionally, the City placed debris containers near these encampments. These services concluded with the closure of the encampment at Fremont Park in August 2020. 
  • Safe Social Distance Site was opened. A section of the parking lot at Finley Community Center operated as a temporary, managed social-distancing space for unsheltered populations. The site provided space for 68 tents with access to sanitary facilities and meals plus linkage to community resources. Occupancy of the site began in May 2020 and concluded in November 2020.
  • Emergency shelter expansion was completed. In March 2020, the City lost 56 beds at its Samuel L. Jones Hall Homeless Shelter due to COVID-19 and social distancing requirements. In December 2020, work was completed on a new Shelter Annex to restore shelter capacity to pre-COVID levels, while maintaining social distancing requirements.