CELEBRATING OUR PROGRESS
Here are a few highlights of what the Task Force has accomplished since we came together in 1981 to end homelessness in Sonoma County and assist our neighbors who have lost their homes.
HELPED BUILD THE HOMELESS SHELTER & SERVICE SYSTEM
Task Force leadership and support helped initiate our county’s first shelter, the former SCPEO Pomo Trail; Catholic Charities Family Support Center & Samuel L. Jones Hall; the HCA Homeless Assistance Fund (CAPS); a jail re-entry program (CHD); & the Health Care for the Homeless Collaborative, which expanded Catholic Charities & COTS Medical Respite Programs, designed and secured funding for the new Santa Rosa Community Health Center Care Transitions Program, & helped develop Integrated Health Access . It helped create & implement the county?s 10-Year Homelessness Action Plan, and provides crucial funding to local services through the federal Emergency Food & Shelter Program and our own Fund for the Homeless.
PROMOTES COMMUNITY KNOWLEDGE, PARTICIPATION & LINKAGES
Convened four countywide conferences enlisting the whole community to end homelessness. Holds monthly public General Meetings; publishes the Reporter Newsletter & our comprehensive Website, Advocates on policy, legislation, projects & funding; Provides speaking, Media appearances & articles; highlight community achievements with Spirit Awards; & supported formation of the Continuum of Care.
Conducted the first demographic study on local Homelessness (1986 ? a model used by Stanford University), as well as the county?s HUD-required Point-In-Time Homeless Counts in 2005 and 2007.
COUNTYWIDE DIRECT HOMELESS SERVICES
Produce and Distribute Homeless Resource Guides, Assure Free Voicemail Boxes and operate the Winter Warmth countywide survival gear clearinghouse.
CREATING OUR FUTURE
Most of the activities above continue. Current efforts include:
EXPAND OPPORTUNITIES FOR SHARED HOUSING & AFFORDABLE HOMES
Help secure vacant foreclosed properties for permanent affordable homes; Disseminate Advocacy & Community Acceptance strategies to support housing solutions.
CONTINUE TO BUILD OUR HEALTH ACCESS SYSTEM
Continue the Health Care for the Homeless Collaborative, interdisciplinary client conferencing process, and further integrate health, mental health, substance abuse, and homeless services; collaborate among hospitals, clinics, mental health, substance abuse, and homeless programs to fill service gaps.
ASSURE EMERGENCY FOOD AND SHELTER
Secure and administer federal funding to local agencies for survival services for homeless families and individuals. Support community efforts to assure adequate shelter.
ADVOCATE & EDUCATE
Strengthen local leadership & advocacy through knowledge & collaboration. Make sure all of us, especially the next generation, know that homelessness is unacceptable in a civil society and how it can be ended.