In Sonoma County, homelessness has become a major crisis. 2,996 people are without shelter, 91% of them are families with children. 72% of homeless residents of Sonoma County are homeless because rent prices have skyrocketed. Many cannot afford to rent a decent home, even with full-time jobs.
Many of those without shelter have been victimized by sex trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, physical assault, and so much more. We often see people who are afraid or unable to leave their abuser because they are financially or otherwise dependent on said abuser. The threat of poverty and homelessness should not be a conduit for abuse to continue.
Fortunately, we have an advocate who specializes in this population and collaborates with other social service agencies to find as many resources as possible to help them get back on their feet and become survivors. She works alongside Catholic Charities to help get shelter and housing set up, with the DA office to help them navigate the court process if they choose to press charges, and serves as an ongoing support system for these clients during rough times.
Our advocate is trained in doing Coordinated Entry, which is a lengthy intake into the shelters of Sonoma County. It asks questions based on use of crisis centers, emergency services, hospital stays, substance abuse, victimization(s), contacts with law enforcement, and more. It ranks their vulnerability on a scale and the county uses this score and these answers to find appropriate shelters for our clients.
Our advocate Katie goes out into the community to places such as:
- The Living Room, a women and children drop-in day center
- Vet Connect, a place where homeless veterans and service providers can connect and collaborate
- Homeless Services Center, a co-ed drop in day center through Catholic Charities
- Homeless Encampments
- Shelters such as Sam Jones Hall, Redwood Gospel Mission, and the Mary Isaak Shelter
The goal of going out into the community is to meet survivors where they are at. Katie understands that a lot of them struggle with transportation and cannot always come to the office.
Through collaborating with other social service agencies, Katie has built strong relationships with them. This helps our survivors because the agencies know that when Katie has someone for them that needs help, it’s urgent. They will try their best to prioritize clients that they meet through Katie. You can contact this advocate at [email protected]!