The Task Force for the Homeless Winter Warmth Program serves as a clearinghouse for life-saving survival gear. We’ve distributed warm winter items to homeless service agencies and programs throughout the county every winter since 2006. Thanks to the generosity of the Sonoma County Department of Health Services, we also have a free distribution site for our program.
According to the latest 2016 Point-In-Time Homeless Census & Survey, there were 2,906 homeless people struggling to survive on a single night in January, when most of us were snug in our beds. 1,906 people were unsheltered and 1,000 people were in shelters or transitional housing. Because our shelters are often full and motel vouchers are scarce, many take refuge in cars, under bridges, behind dumpsters and make do out in the cold, wet weather – many without a warm coat, blanket or sleeping bag. Many succumb to illnesses or injuries caused or worsened by exposure to weather and toxins in the environment, and the rigors and dangers of living outdoors. At least 30 homeless people each year die on the streets and in the wooded areas of Sonoma County. And each winter the number of items we distribute increases – from 1,534 items in 2008-09 to 6,814 items in 2015-16.
We accept donations of survival gear year round. We especially need sleeping bags, sleeping mats, tents, tarps, fiber-filled jackets, flashlights, hiking boots, athletic shoes, new or gently used cushioned socks & new underwear. You can drop them off at our distribution site or our main office by appointment only. To arrange a time to deliver your items or if you represent a homeless service agency and want to be added to our email notification list, contact Fawn at 575-4494 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are also grateful for cash donations to purchase needed items (e.g. socks, sleeping bags, etc.), or to help pay program costs. To support this and other Task Force programs, click on the Donate button below:
Special note: Help protect homeless people with allergies!! Please be sure your items are free of pet and human hair, dust, dander and soil.
Through dedicated volunteers, service providers and homeless advocates, we’ve distributed warm winter gear to programs and agencies serving veterans, families, farm workers, people dealing with mental illness and people in recovery – many living on the streets or in encampments during the rainy season. Items are also distributed at holiday dinners, clinics, hot meal sites, pantries, shelters, churches and day centers.
Here’s a list of our participating agencies and programs: ACTS Ministries, Brookwood Health Center, Buckelew, California Human Development, Catholic Charities Family Support Center & Outreach, Center Point DAAC, Child Parent Institute, Church of the Incarnation Open Table, Community Action Partnership Sonoma Co., FISH of Sonoma, Goodwill Industries Wellness & Advocacy Center and Interlink Self-Help Center, Graton Day Labor Center, Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Homeless Action!, Hope Chapel, Migrant Child Education, Mobile Supportive Services, North Bay Veterans Resource Center, North Sonoma County Services, Redwood Gospel Mission, Russian River Health Center, Sebastopol Community Church, Sonoma Co. Behavioral Health Div. FACT & Psychiatric Emergency Services, Santa Rosa Community Health Centers, Santa Rosa Treatment Program, Sebastopol Community Church, Seventh Day Adventist Community Services, Sonoma County Human Services Dept., Sonoma Overnight Support, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, St. Joseph Health Sonoma County, St. Vincent de Paul’s Dining Room, Sutter Medical Center, The Living Room, Unitarian Universalist Congregation, West County Community Services.
Hats off to our many Winter Warmth donors. They include Deborah Adams, Airport Health Club, ALPS Mountaineering, Brooks Anderson, B’nai Israel Jewish Center, Janeen Bell, Christine Bennett, Big O Tires, Jacque Chance, Yvonne Clark, Terry Cziska, Dede Duncan & Girl Scout Troop 10132, Sandy Eastoak, Eddie Bauer, FedEx Employees (Windsor), Fleet Feet Santa Rosa, Ellen Gaddis, Goodwill Industries, Green Valley Consulting Engineers, Susan Hall, Matt Hughes, Jessica Kaari, Kim King, Kmart, Amy Levine Koman, Lagunitas Brewing Co., Levi’s Outlet Store, Ozan Lish & Santa Rosa High School Girl’s Basketball Team, Karen Martin, Susie Murray & Community Crafters of Sonoma County, Myers Restaurant Supply, Sonoma County Behavioral Health Div. employees, Lisa Stauber, KRUSH 95.9 FM Wine Country Radio, Teresa Paxton, Pronzini Christmas Trees, Maureen Purcell, Lois Shelton, Sonoma Outfitters, St. John’s United Methodist (Rohnert Park), Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital Employees, Target, Nancy Tealdi, The UPS Stores (Greater Bay Area), Jack Tibbetts, Nadine van Vranken-Kemper, Carol Vena-Mondt, Viasi Solution (formerly JDSU), Walmart employees (Rohnert Park), Warm for the Holidays and Barbara & Rick Ziesche.