Shelter Annex Restores Bed Space at City's Homeless Shelter Property to Pre-COVID-19 Levels
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. In December 2020, the City completed an emergency shelter expansion at SJH to restore available bed capacity back to pre-COVID-19 occupancy, while maintaining social distancing requirements. In January 2021, prior to the new facility opening for its intended purpose, the City found it necessary to utilize the new Shelter Annex as an isolation area for SJH residents who had tested positive for COVID-19. The Shelter Annex began accepting its first intakes in February 2021, following two weeks of no positive COVID-19 test results at SJH.
The project scope for the Shelter Annex featured installation of an approximately 8,000 square foot prefabricated building on existing paved areas, and health and safety improvements including a foundation, electrical service, heating and air conditioning, fire sprinklers, security cameras, and accessibility. The new building was placed in the parking lot, adjacent to the current shelter building and can house up to 60 individuals. The project was one of several implemented by the City during the COVID-19 emergency to protect persons experiencing homelessness and the community at large, including the provision of hotel rooms for unsheltered individuals who are at high-risk for COVID-19, placement of sanitary facilities at or near known encampments, and the activation of the Safe Social Distancing Program in a section of the parking lot at Finley Community Center.
The City is currently exploring a number of options to address homelessness, including partnering with Sonoma County on an indoor-outdoor shelter and expanding its safe parking program at several City locations.