We are grateful to Logan Harvey, Mayor of Sonoma, the City Council, and City Manager Cathy Capriola for their support of this vital program. The Safe Parking Program, located in the police parking lot adjacent to The Haven, provides a protected sleeping place for people living in their vehicles. The program is limited to 10 cars, and there is a waiting list .
Special thanks to our new teen volunteers, who handed out flyers in the Springs to local businesses, including the Dollar Store, Barking Dog Roasters, La Michoacana, and bodegas. Many new participants came in holding the flyer.
We are also sending food to those in the encampments, with a volunteer who delivers hygiene kits from County of Sonoma Human Services Department. In a way, SOS is returning to its roots, when our co-founder, Elizabeth Kemp, and the Brown Baggers fed itinerant farmworkers in Agua Caliente.
Dear Friends of SOS,
As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.”
Our responsibility is to take care of all those who make up our community. With your help, the SOS staff and Board continue to face that responsibility every day.
This Memorial Day weekend, we want to honor those who lost their lives in service of our country. Several of our clients are veterans, and we are grateful for what they gave to our country. We are only too happy to provide what little we can in return.
We’d also like to honor those brave souls who gave their lives fighting for our public health against this terrible virus. Their service cannot and will not go unforgotten. For those who are still sick, we are praying for them to be healthy again soon.
In the meantime, we continue to serve those most vulnerable in our community. With Phase 2 restrictions lifting, allowing limited business openings, our food program will have to move out of First Congregational Church by June 1 to make room for the reopened preschool. First Congregational’s generosity and kindness make us sad to leave, but we are excited by several other venue partnerships which are in the works.
Your continuous support is paramount in providing essential services to our homeless community.
Thank you to those who selflessly give their time, and to those who send financial support. Both efforts allow us to keep marching onward.
Happy Memorial Day.
Dear Sonoma Community,
For the past month at The Haven, Sonoma Overnight Support has been complying with the new rules and regulations of sheltering in place, using face coverings, and keeping social distances.
With to-go food provided by six different restaurants, Teen Services Sonoma, and Sweetwater Spectrum, we were able to hand out 1,379 meals.
Our thanks to the volunteers who picked up and served the meals.
As of the end of March at the Winter Shelter at Sonoma Alliance Church, 56 unique individuals found a warm, dry place to sleep.
The Shelter provided 1,575 bed nights.
A portable ADA-approved shower was installed at the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Hall on April 11 for the use of our clients.
To date, we have provided over 70 showers.
Those using the showers are each provided with a hygiene kit of soap, shampoo, conditioner, razor, and two towels. If necessary, they can also get clean socks, clean underwear, and a change of clothing.
Finally, we’d like to extend a special “thank you” to our Overnight Monitor, Matthew. To bring some joy and comfort into the lives of those at the Winter Shelter, he has been bringing old VHS tapes (including “Bambi” and “Sound of Music”) to show in the evening before lights out.
We are grateful for all of your continued support!
Dear Friends of SOS,
In this unprecedented time for all of us, but especially for those who are homeless with nowhere to shelter in place, the Sonoma Overnight Support board and staff are doing our best to meet the needs of the unhoused in Sonoma and Sonoma Valley.
We have made the transition to provide food “to go” prepared by local restaurants to avoid any potential health risks that might be associated with food prepared in homes and offsite kitchens.
We ask that our dedicated 125 volunteers from faith-based congregations, service and non-profit organizations, and home cooks not bring any food to the HAVEN.
We are accepting donations of store bought pre-wrapped items. These can be dropped off at the HAVEN weekdays between noon and 5 p.m.
If you regularly provide SOS with food, we would appreciate cash donations in the amount you would have spent on that food. That way we can continue to feed the homeless and hungry with healthy food while supporting our struggling local restaurants.
We are keeping the Winter Shelter at Sonoma Alliance Church open until the end of April and will continue to serve meals seven nights a week to those who are sheltered there.
Our day clients and those who are living in their cars are receiving to-go breakfast and lunch from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. each week day in the backyard of the HAVEN.
We are currently serving over 120 meals each day.
SOS is grateful to Sonoma Valley Community Health Center for monitoring the health of our homeless adults, to the Community Foundation of Sonoma County for a grant to purchase prepared food, and to sonomavalleyvolunteers.org. who are helping us pick up the prepared food and distributed it at the HAVEN. Visit their website if you are under 60, and would like to volunteer
We have three hand wash stations and a porta-potty donated by the City of Sonoma for those who come to SOS for meals.
The circumstances facing our clients are indeed challenging. We are working tirelessly to do what we can to keep everyone safe.
Since the COVID-19 situation is changing daily, we will try to keep you updated as best possible.
I am reminded of the words of the poet Maya Angelou.
“You may not control all of the events that happened to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
Let’s move forward together with care and compassion for each other and those in our community who have no place to call home.
Sonoma Overnight Support