SANTA ROSA (BCN)
Homeless residents who had returned Sunday to a former camp on Sonoma County-owned land in Roseland were cleared from the site this afternoon.
There were about 35 homeless people and 23 tents Sunday night in a parking lot by a Dollar Store on Sebastopol Road, homeless advocate Scott Wagner said. It was the same location where as many as 100 homeless people were evicted in April.
With eviction expected, homeless people with outstanding warrants were advised to leave before police arrived today, Wagner said.
About 25 people remained Monday evening and around 15 people were still there when police arrived at 11 a.m. today, Wagner said.
Homeless advocate Kathleen Finigan said Santa Rosa police told the homeless people they were trespassing and had to leave the site or face arrest by 1:30 p.m.
At least four people said they would go to the Sam L. Jones Hall shelter in Santa Rosa, but others said they would not because the shelter is unsafe, overcrowded and lacks privacy, Finigan said.
Many of the homeless suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other disabilities, and they can’t handle staying in the shelter, Finigan said.
Wagner said about 800 homeless people with mental health issues, addiction problems and other issues in the county are not in shelters.
“The County says we are wrong and that everyone can be accommodated. It’s a legal issue, and the process will last months or years,” Wagner said.
Margaret Van Vliet, executive director of the Sonoma County Community Development Commission, said there were no arrests and the homeless removed their tents and belongings.
Van Vliet said there are about 100 additional beds at the temporary overnight shelter in the National Guard Armory in Santa Rosa run by St. Vincent de Paul and 300 new beds countywide, including 50 in Guerneville.
Sonoma County is expected to receive $12 million in one-time funds from the California Department of Housing and Community Development. The money will be used for more shelter beds, coordinating homeless services and investing in property for permanent housing, Van Vliet said.
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