SANTA ROSA, Calif. (BCN) — The city of Santa Rosa will be getting $24.6 million to fund two Project Homekey sites for housing for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of being homeless, the city announced this week.
In conjunction with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa and St. Vincent de Paul, Santa Rosa will provide 90 housing units complete with wrap-around services such as job training and mental health support.
“Each of these newly funded housing units is a tangible, life-changing opportunity for a person or family experiencing homelessness,” said Megan Bassinger, Santa Rosa’s director of housing and community development, who added that it will help reduce the impact of homelessness for the entire community.
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The Caritas Center project is being built in downtown Santa Rosa and will get $11.36 million to create 40 new housing units. Caritas will have multiple services available, such as an emergency family shelter, case management, mental health services, and educational and job development services.
It is part of Catholic Charities’ larger Caritas Village project, which features two phases of affordable housing development, according to the city. Construction is due to be complete by the end of the summer.
St. Vincent de Paul Commons, which is operated by the organization, will get about $13.29 million in Homekey funding to create 50 permanent supported living units in what was formerly the Gold Coin Motel on Mendocino Avenue. The site will also offer wrap-around services similar to Caritas. Renovations will begin after the funding is transferred.
On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced funding awards statewide that will create nearly 2,500 housing units. Newsom’s total budget for the ambitious project of helping local governments expand permanent housing for people at risk of homelessness is at $3.75 billion.
Santa Rosa’s homelessness data dashboard only tracks the number of people that have been served in some way by the city, not a total count of people living in homelessness in the city. In 2020-21, 282 people were housed through city-sponsored programs with a funding of nearly $5 million.
This year’s “Point in Time” homeless count for Sonoma County showed a 5 percent increase over 2020 numbers (no count was taken in 2021 due to COVID-19). To date, Sonoma County has created 220 new Project Homekey housing units, the county said.
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