032920DowntownSantaRosaThe city of Santa Rosa says it’s following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect people experiencing homelessness amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Steps taken so far according to an update on the city website include relocating some shelter residents to a hotel, conducting educational outreach and adhering to guidance not to disperse encampments.

The city on March 22 relocated 45 residents from the Samuel Jones Homeless Shelter to the Sandman Hotel in Santa Rosa. This move was to ensure that the shelter could maintain six feet of distance between bunk beds.

(Image: Downtown Santa Rosa / Credit: Wulfnoth of English Wikipedia)

The Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST) and patrol officers with the Santa Rosa Police Department are also reaching out to people experiencing homelessness to educate about the importance of social distancing and good hygiene practices.

The city says it will not disperse encampments during the pandemic because this can cause people to move through the community and potentially increase the spread of the virus.

In addition, the city update says progress is being made to have all cities in Sonoma County merge with a Sonoma County Emergency Operation effort to implement $150 million in state funding to protect homeless Californians from COVID-19. This effort includes additional shelter support and emergency housing, portable toilets and hand-washing stations and services to support people experiencing homelessness.

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