Sonoma Valley’s Homeless facing a future without overnight shelter
Kathy King is frustrated. The executive director of Sonoma Overnight Support, the nonprofit which operates the Haven homeless shelter on First Street West, feels that the Sonoma Valley population she serves is last in line for county services.
‘At the end of the month the grant from the county CDC (Community Development Commission) will stop,’ said King. ‘I have been twice a week for the last month on conference calls with shelter providers of the county, trying find out if they’re going to extend winter shelter funding through May.’
Though the Winter Shelter program, which takes place at the Sonoma Alliance Church on Watmaugh Road, usually runs until the end of March, it was given a 30-day extension through April, but its future beyond that point is uncertain. Currently eight to 12 people per night are able to stay at the overnight shelter, down from the usual 15, to help provide social distancing at the church.
The county allocated $95,000 for four months of the winter shelter program, December through March, but even though the program was extended, so far the CDC has not committed to additional funding. The program costs about $30,000 a month, said King, leaving a significant shortfall.
‘We got nothing. The county’s not helping us, at all,’ she said.