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Special Coverage: Homelessness in Sonoma County

Living near SMART tracks, Petaluma homeless face danger

Officials with the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit authority have been working with police and homeless advocates for months to encourage people to stay clear of the track right-of-way. The result has been an exodus of people from the tracks.

Petaluma’s homelessness efforts paying off

Recent outreach from Petaluma police coupled with enhanced services from local nonprofits are bearing fruit — numbers of homeless people in Petaluma are on the decline.

Homeless numbers on decline in Petaluma

A coalition of Petaluma organizations are redoubling their efforts after making significant progress in addressing the city’s homeless population, setting their sights on those most at-risk while celebrating positive trends for the population as a whole.

Petaluma Police Department adds homeless outreach officer

A sizable state grant will allow the Petaluma Police Department to create a new officer position to focus entirely on the city’s homeless population for two years, a group that police said is responsible for as much as half of its daily calls for service.

In dressing Petaluma homeless people, dignity is an accessory

After a four-week job readiness class that covers the basics of professionalism like writing resumes, interviewing and applying for jobs, COTS Work: Ready students are invited to visit a volunteer-run apparel shop and re-vamp their wardrobes for interviews and, ultimately, new jobs.

Homeless advocates press Sonoma County for action

A demonstration in Santa Rosa by a group called Homeless Action was aimed at drawing public attention to the widespread shortage of affordable housing and maxed-out homeless shelters that have plagued cities including Petaluma.

Sonoma County lays out plan to tackle homelessness

Sonoma County supervisors appear ready to embark on an ambitious campaign to wipe out homelessness, envisioning a regional effort supported by local cities and public-private partnerships to create new affordable housing for an estimated 2,000 people.

Sonoma County looks at tiny houses to solve homelessness

The movement to build micro houses could help the homeless population, county officials say.

Petaluma police assign dedicated officer for homeless outreach

The Petaluma Police Department plans to assign an existing officer to focus full-time on the city’s homeless population, a new role meant to help turn the tide in a decades-long effort to connect more homeless people with services and stave off related crimes.

Police conduct cleanup of trash from homeless encampments along the river

The Petaluma Police Department led a collaborative effort to clean up trash from six homeless encampments along a section of the river on Tuesday, June 16.

Petaluma has help ready for homeless

The homeless and transient camps throughout Petaluma appear to be filled with people who can’t find a way to escape poverty.

Petaluma police break down homeless camps

Petaluma Police officers have been working overtime to clean up dozens of illegal transient encampments around town that are threats to public health and safety and the environment.

Homeless get Sonoma County lift from Catholic Charities

For more than a year, Blanca Zapata and Amber Hernandez, a pair of Sonoma County sisters, have tried to find permanent housing after struggling with work cuts for Zapata and, for Hernandez, an accident that left her partially paralyzed.

Finding ways to do more for Sonoma County’s homeless

Committee on the Shelterless chief Mike Johnson insists it’s imperative that Sonoma County adopt a dramatically new tact against homelessness.

Dying homeless: Life on the streets often leads to an early death

In the hours and days after the discovery of the eighth homeless person found dead outside in the city last year, Petaluma Police detectives were looking for answers to what killed 60-year-old Michael Lee Patton, who was found lying face down on a downtown sidewalk just before Christmas.

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