COVID-19 Homelessness Services

Addressing Homelessness During the Public Health Emergency

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, including establishing a Safe Social Distance Program set up in an area of the parking lot at Finley Community Center. This site will be utilized to provide a temporary, managed social-distancing space for unsheltered populations through the duration of the Sonoma County Health Offer Shelter in Place Order. 
Tent setup at Finley

Safe Social Distancing Program:  Parking Lot Site at Finley Center

The Safe Social Distancing Program site in the Finley parking lot consists of 68 tents, with each tent accommodating an individual or couple. Occupancy of the site began on May 18. The site is expected to operate through the duration of the Sonoma County Health Offer Shelter in Place Order.  Click the following buttons for further program information.

As of Tuesday May 26, there are 33 program participants staying at the site with a total of 32 tents occupied.

City Actions to Date to Address Homelessness During COVID-19

  • May:  Safe Social Distance Site in Area of Parking Lot at Finley Community Center
    A section of the parking lot at Finley Community Center will be utilized to provide a temporary, managed social-distancing space for unsheltered populations. The site will provide space for 70 tents, with each tent accommodating an individual or couple. The parking lot space to be utilized is located between the Person Senior Wing and the Finley tennis courts; view aerial map. Occupancy of the site began on May 18. The site is expected to operate through the duration of the Sonoma County Health Offer Shelter in Place Order.
  • Mid-April:  Motel rooms provided for unsheltered high-risk individuals 
    Following outreach and assessment, an additional 26 rooms at the Sandman Motel were provided to high-risk individuals who had been living in encampments within the City.  Face masks were also distributed to individuals living in encampments.
  • Mid-March:  Motel rooms provided for high-risk residents of Sam Jones Homeless Shelter
    45 high-risk residents of Samuel L. Jones Hall Homeless Shelter, aged 65 or older or with preexisting medical conditions, relocated to rooms at Sandman Motel. This action created social distancing space within the shelter and helped prevent vulnerable individuals from potential exposure to COVID-19.  Based on national best practice, strict safety protocols have been implemented in all City-sponsored homeless service operations.
  • Late March:  Sanitation facilities 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.

What’s Next? Addressing Additional Needs for Social Distancing and Shelter

In addition to the plans in process for May, the City is evaluating additional short, mid, and long-term options for Non-Congregate Shelter (NCS) and congregate shelter within the City to maintain social distancing and enable the City, once Shelter-In-Place Orders are lifted, to resume encampment resolution efforts through the Homeless Encampment Assistance Program


​Updates on Homeless Support from the County of Sonoma 

Read about additional actions being taken by the County of Sonoma to protect those experiencing homelessness amid the public health emergency on the County's Homeless Support Information page