What is the City Doing

Cleaning Encampments
The health and safety of our residents is our highest priority. Encampments often create health and safety risks. When that occurs, or when an encampment interferes with the public’s use of public property, creates risks of imminent injury or property damage, or has criminal activity or aggressive behavior from those living in them, the City will clean up the encampment. This includes removal of materials, pruning trees and vegetation, and sorting and storing any valuable items. Our practice includes trying to link those in encampments to services through Catholic Charities Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST) as a first step when we come across encampments.

Homeless Outreach

City staff work closely with Catholic Charities, a Sonoma County homeless services agency, which provides outreach services to individuals experiencing homelessness in Rohnert Park. Catholic Charities Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST)  go to encampments and engage the individuals living there, providing services specific to their needs and situation. Services include connecting with housing options, getting on shelter and housing waitlists, obtaining government identification, increasing income, connecting with medical, mental health and substance use services, and meeting some of their immediate needs.

Rapid Rehousing
The City is providing $250,000 for Fiscal Year 2020-21 to Catholic Charities to operate a Rapid Rehousing program, which provides financial assistance and support to help people experiencing homelessness to get back into a home of their own. Financial assistance can include security deposit, portion of monthly rent for an average of six months, and assistance paying for utilities. Supports include assistance with budgeting and increasing income, and educating on landlord-tenant rights and responsibilities.

Working with Property Owners
The City is providing suggestions to owners of private property, particularly businesses with large parking lots, on how they can address homelessness on their properties. Trespassing laws can be difficult to enforce.  

Enforcing Parking Restrictions
The City has established and enforces restrictions on overnight parking in several locations, including our parks. We also enforce the requirement that vehicles not be parked on public streets for more than 72 consecutive hours in the same location.