On October 15th, the City applied for state funding from Homekey to build an interim housing facility for those experiencing homelessness to stay for periods of about six months. This is not a drop-in center, feeding center, day facility, or services center.  This is a housing complex with services and dining only for the residents of the complex.  It will better enable the City to enforce no camping laws to reduce encampments.  

Why Homekey?

Over the last few years, we’ve heard from many Rohnert Park businesses and residents about homelessness.  Vacant lots, streets, parks, parking lots and creeks throughout Rohnert Park have had numerous encampments, people in vehicles, and associated nuisances.  Many have asked what can be done.  In response, we are looking at a way to get people off the streets, out of the creeks, and out of encampments. 

The City is limited in what it can do to do to deal with homeless encampments. The courts have ruled that cities must offer housing to people before it can take any enforcement actions. We currently have no interim housing in Rohnert Park to offer to people living in encampments.  

The impromptu encampments that pop up cause health and safety issues, disrupt businesses, pollute waterways and litter our community. The need to house unsheltered individuals is acute – as much for those experiencing homelessness as for the rest of the community. The State has made an unprecedented $1.5 billion available through their Homekey program to provide interim and permanent housing for homeless individuals. The City has submitted an application for these funds in order to add housing for those experiencing homelessness. The City may be eligible for up to $17 million from the state to help address this issue.  

What is interim housing?

Interim housing is a temporary housing program for people experiencing homelessness. 

Interim housing programs are clean, well-managed facilities that do not permit anyone who is not a resident on the premises.  

Interim housing programs do not require people to leave the site during the daytime. 

Interim housing programs provide for individuals’ immediate needs, including bathrooms, showers and meals – as well as a community garden and dog run. 

Interim housing sites are managed by a highly experienced service provider, providing 24/7 staffing at the site to ensure the safety of everyone living at the site, and those around it. 

The service provider provides an array of services including on-site case management, mental health counseling, job training and other supportive services designed to assist program participants to access permanent housing.

Where?


The proposed site is located at 6020 Labath Avenue, adjacent to the City’s new fire station at the corner of Labath Ave and Martin Ave (see map below).




To view the proposed site plan, click here.

Who is involved in the project?


The City applied for Homekey, along with co-applicants HomeFirst and DignityMoves. If awarded the funds, DignityMoves will oversee the building of the project and HomeFirst will own and operate the interim housing program. 

HomeFirst is a nonprofit service provider based in Milpitas with interim and permanent housing sites throughout the Bay Area. HomeFirst has over 40 years of experience in the providing housing and services to people experiencing homelessness. 

DignityMoves is a Bay-Area based nonprofit project manager that oversees the development and installation of the modular units for interim housing sites. Using funds from last year’s Homekey allocation, DignityMoves developed a similar project in Mountain View with a service provider organization called LifeMoves. This project provides 88 units for individuals and 12 for families. 

Click here to learn more about the LifeMoves Mountain View Homekey interim housing project. 

Next Steps:

1. The State should let the City know if the funds were awarded by December. 

2. At that time, the City would begin construction – which would take 8-12 months. 

3. If the site is awarded funds, the City and homeless service provider will engage the property owners, residents and businesses in the area to solicit feedback and address concerns. 

How can I get involved?

1. Homelessness Roundtable: The City convenes a monthly Homelessness Roundtable meeting, which includes a group of community members working together to take meaningful actions to address homelessness in Rohnert Park. To learn more about the Homelessness Roundtable, click here.

2. Town Halls: If awarded funds, the City and its co-applicants will host a series of town halls, aimed at providing information about the project and soliciting input from the community. When these are scheduled, we will posted them at the top of this page.  

View the City Manager's presentation to City Council on the Homekey project:




Have questions?  Contact [email protected]