The Department of Housing and Community Services is seeking input from the community on a proposal to expand the Community Homeless Assistance Program (CHAP) that will be presented to the City Council on November 19. CHAP currently allows for the provision of homeless services such as safe parking or temporary overnight shelter on commercial or meeting facility (i.e. churches) properties. The proposal expands the definition of eligible property types to allow safe parking on private residential and public properties.
What is CHAP?
Santa Rosa City Council approved the Community Homeless Assistance Program (CHAP ) in 2016 to foster community solutions with the goal of reducing the impacts of homelessness on the community and to better serve persons experiencing homelessness. CHAP allows property owners to use commercial properties or properties/facilities which meet the Zoning Code definition for “Meeting Facility, Public or Private” for safe parking, safe camping, the placement and maintenance of portable toilets and access to existing bathroom facilities, provision of temporary overnight shelter, and storage for personal belongings. There are currently 3 property owners participating in CHAP, providing approximately 30 safe parking spots. The City has a limited amount of funding available to assist eligible property owners wishing to participate in CHAP with program-related expenses such as rental fees for portable toilets and handwashing stations, fencing and/or screening for privacy purposes, or fees for garbage service.
What is being proposed under the CHAP expansion?
In February 2019, staff received direction from Council to evaluate the following for CHAP and return at a later date with a report for their consideration:
- Engage property owners to understand potential barriers, including insurance costs, and to increase program participation;
- Expand definition of eligible property types to allow safe parking on private residential and public properties (vehicles, trailers, and/or recreational vehicles (RVs));
- Identify public properties for safe parking and develop a program budget;
- Conduct community outreach to seek public input on the CHAP expansion;
- Adopt California Department of Housing and Community Development Emergency Building Standards to allow for alternative housing options; and
- Ensure alignment with the City’s Housing First Strategy and regional priorities through the homeless system of care, Home Sonoma County.
Provide your input
For more information or to provide feedback on this proposal, please contact Kelli Kuykendall, Housing and Community Services Manager at 707-543-3315 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Community feedback will be shared with City Council during the November 19th meeting. You are also welcome to share your input directly with City Council by attending the November 19th meeting at City Hall Council Chambers (100 Santa Rosa Avenue). Find Council meeting information at https://srcity.org/1322/City-Council.