By Kevin Fixler, June 15, 2019, Press Democrat
Rohnert Park has pledged to spend $325,000 to address homelessness in the city, bolstering ongoing efforts to permanently rehouse the rising number of residents lacking shelter.
The figure represents the City Council’s largest single allocation for homelessness in years and perhaps ever, according to city officials. The bulk of the money will go toward maintaining a homeless housing program with Petaluma-based nonprofit COTS.
“Homelessness is a problem throughout the state, throughout the county, and it follows that it’s a problem in Rohnert Park,” said Councilwoman Susan Hollingsworth Adams. “But our money follows our values in Rohnert Park, and in this case we value helping people in the shallow end of the resource pool.”
The City Council Tuesday voted 5-0 to approve $250,000 for the Committee on the Shelterless to pay for a second year of its rapid rehousing services, which includes rental assistance and case management. The money comes out of city funds dedicated to housing.
An additional $75,000 will be put into a reserve fund for homeless outreach efforts. That money is from payments made to the city by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, who own the casino on Rohnert Park’s western edge. The reserve fund is meant to forestall potential homeless service cuts at COTS in the event of a drop in state and federal funding.