Despite hotel conversions, safe parking experiments and millions of dollars in emergency rental assistance, homelessness is still on the rise in Sonoma County.
The annual, one-night "point-in-time" homeless census found nearly 3000 people currently living on the streets of Sonoma County or experiencing some form of homelessness. That's up five percent from 2020. The count didn't happen last year, due to COVID.
According to the county, homelessness gradually declined between 2011 and 2019.
An official release from the county notes that a catastrophic increase was expected at the pandemic's outset as jobs and incomes vanished. But countermeasures including rent subsidies helped many keep their homes.
The county is expecting hundreds of converted motel rooms, and micro dwellings in tiny house villages to become available in the coming year, along with additional 'safe parking' for those living out of vehicles.