Sonoma County moving forward with outdoor homeless shelter

Bay Area

SANTA ROSA (KRON) — Sonoma County is moving forward with its plan to address the homelessness crisis.

More than 200 people have been living along a trail in Santa Rosa.

Construction is now underway for a temporary emergency outdoor shelter at the county’s Los Guilicos campus. Construction began this past week and it’s now bringing out the neighbors.

“I just want to see where they were building it,” Tony Schukle said.

Schukle drove around the construction site of Sonoma County’s emergency outdoor homeless shelter.

“If they do what they (the county) say they’re going to do, I think it’s probably a start,” Schukle said.

Schukle lives nearby in the Oakmont neighborhood.

“Everybody says ‘not in my backyard’ –we gotta start somewhere,” he said.

Some have mixed feelings.

“I think this will affect our beautiful mountain park and you know, just the risk that can happen when things are not really monitored really well,” Laura Dilley said. “So I’m just disappointed and I hope for the best that we really learn from this.”

Throughout the afternoon, locals drove by the site.

A man stopped to take pictures. Others kept driving to get a closer look.

The site is located at the county’s Los Guilicos campus.

The facility will provide 60 units serving those living on the Joe Rodota Trail in Santa Rosa.

Some 200 people have been living on the trail prompting a homeless crisis.

David cox stopped by the trail, then the site.

“It’s a dilemma and we have to do something and this is certainly looks to me in a step in the right direction,” David Cox said.

In addition, county leaders approved the purchase of four properties that will be turned into shared housing for the homeless.

But for now, the focus is on clearing the trail and getting people housed.

The temporary shelter will have restrooms, a warming station and security. It will operate until the long-term inside-outside shelters are created.

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