Letter to Neighbors September 15, 2020

En Español »

Dear Neighbor,

We want to update you about the County’s efforts to address COVID-19 and homelessness in our community and, in particular, notify you about a project that is underway in your area.

In response to the spread of COVID-19 and the risks facing our most vulnerable residents, the County has created sites throughout the region to provide living spaces for individuals who do not have coronavirus but would be at significant risk if they were to contract the virus. This includes people over the age of 65 and those who have certain pre-existing health conditions. Many of these individuals have been homeless or otherwise are unable to safely shelter in place on a consistent basis.

One of these non-congregate sites is in now being expanded at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. To assist with this effort, the state Office of Emergency Services has provided Sonoma County with 34 trailers that will serve as living spaces. Fourteen of these trailers have been successfully housing individuals at the Fairgrounds campground located along Linwood Avenue since the onset of the pandemic. Another 10 trailers will be set up next week on Fairgrounds property at the corner of Brookwood Avenue and Allan Way. These trailers will be connected to the utility boxes along the outfield fence line of the baseball field there. This site was selected because of the RV hookups available there. These connections are not available elsewhere, at least not in the capacity needed to operate these trailers. These two-bedroom trailers are self-contained and will house two individuals each for a total of up to 20 people.

All of the residents will be screened and medically cleared prior to selection for this site. Security and staffing will be provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week and residents will be required to follow certain rules of conduct. For example, individuals with essential activities, such as a job or medical appointment, will be given a pass to leave and will be offered shuttles or public transportation. Specifically, residents will not be allowed to wander off the premises on foot. The County has successfully adopted these rules of conduct at all of our sites, and the guests appreciate the structure. They have found that staying at a site rather than living in open-area shelters or encampments provides a safer environment – for them and the community at large. This site will remain at this location as long as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and as long as these individuals remain at risk.

For more information about this and other sites as well as alternate care sites around Sonoma County, please go to SoCoEmergency.org or go directly to: https://socoemergency.org/emergency/novel-coronavirus/latest-news/covid-19-ncs-and-acs-partnerships/.

For general questions about the County’s COVID-19 plans, contact the Sonoma County Public Affairs office at (707) 565-3040 or email publicaffairs@sonoma-county.org. To contact someone about a particular incident directly related to operations of the site at the Santa Rosa Fairgrounds, please call (707) 791-5416.  This number will be manned 24/7 by county staff who can assist with any questions or concerns. There will be a voicemail system for any calls that come in while staff are answering other calls.

Thank you for your understanding and support during this challenging time. Only by working together will we be able to slow the spread of the virus.

Sincerely,

Paul Gullixson
Communications Manager
County of Sonoma

publicaffairs@sonoma-county.org
(707) 565-3040
575 Administration Drive, Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403