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Special Coverage: Homelessness in Sonoma County

Probing the panhandling dilemma in Sonoma County

For many people, whether or not to give, and what to give to people on the street is a daily question. So, what’s the right thing to do?

Plight of Santa Rosa’s homeless residents grows suddenly more visible

Jennifer Badolato’s banged-up red Nissan is more than just a car. It’s her home.The Santa Rosa woman doesn’t make enough money in her job at Walmart to afford an apartment in Sonoma County, where rents have skyrocketed over the past four years to an average of $1,700 a month.S

COTS needs help to fight homelessness

Petaluma’s Committee on the Shelterless is a tremendous community asset, providing shelter and other services to some of Petaluma’s most vulnerable residents, many of whom would be forced to live hard on the city’s streets.B

Police remove large homeless camp along Petaluma River

Petaluma police joined volunteers from two homeless service organizations in a large-scale operation to remove several illegal encampments along the banks of the Petaluma River on Monday, according to an announcement by the Petaluma Police Department.

Petaluma homeless services at risk

Petaluma’s Committee on the Shelterless is considering the possibility of future service cuts or even the chance of closure for its celebrated homeless shelter program after losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funding.

Grant helps fund Petaluma homeless outreach, cleanup

Efforts to target issues around homelessness in Petaluma recently took another big step forward in the form of a sizable grant, which will support hiring of a coordinator for a collaborative between law enforcement and service agencies.

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.

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