One Cold Night 2018: Santa Rosa
SAY’s annual fall fundraiser, One Cold Night, will take place on December 7th with community members spending the night outside to advocate and raise awareness for the 515 youth experiencing homelessness in Sonoma County. This year, Sleepers will represent six key areas in Sonoma County and the unique struggles and challenges young people face there. Leading up to December 7th, we are highlighting each of the six sleeping sites for 2018: Santa Rosa, Petaluma, North County, West County, Sonoma Valley and Rohnert Park.
For our first week, we start with Santa Rosa. Home to the densest population of youth homelessness in our county, Santa Rosa is also the seat of the county and home to many human services. However, the pressures of affordable housing inventory and the increased pressures on all of those at-risk and struggling still present challenges to youth.
The needs of youth in Santa Rosa
According to the 2018 Point-In-Time Homeless Census and Survey, at least 431 youth are experiencing homelessness in Santa Rosa right now. Youth experiencing homelessness here are typically around the ages of 21-24 and often do not live on the streets; rather they are couch surfing or living out of unregistered cars because the streets have proven to be extremely unsafe. Most of the youth our staff encounters in Santa Rosa are working multiple jobs, yet are still unable to meet the income requirement of 3x monthly rent to be eligible for most housing.
How SAY helps in Santa Rosa
SAY’s three facilities are located in Santa Rosa including the SAY Finley Dream Center. The Dream Center, our main base of operations for the agency, includes a Counseling Clinic for youth ages 5-24, and their families; the John Jordan Career Hub, a drop in center for youth ages 12-24 in need of support for employment and education; as well as an emergency shelter and long-term affordable housing for 18-24 year olds.
Santa Rosa is also home to SAY’s Tamayo Village, an affordable housing program in partnership with Burbank Housing for 18-24 year olds, and the Dr. Coffee House Teen Shelter, the only teen adult shelter between San Francisco and the Oregon border.
Additionally, we help young people in Santa Rosa through SAY’s Street Outreach Team. This team spends one day a week connecting with young people who are at risk of becoming homeless or are currently experiencing homelessness, and meets their most immediate needs by handing out socks, food, hygiene supplies and critical referrals to key services.
Lastly, SAY extensively supports students in Santa Rosa with school-based services. Our counseling department provides school-based mental health services in 22 Santa Rosa City Schools from elementary to high school. Additionally, our careers department provides college and career readiness services in all Santa Rosa City High Schools, helping students connect learning in the classroom to future career opportunities.
Why we sleep
Our goal is to increase community awareness about the many faces of homelessness and the unique needs of young people in Sonoma County. This event harnesses the power of the individual, combined with the power of a community to make an impact on a local level. Every dollar raised by our Sleepers and their supports directly supports SAY’s services that help put youth on the path to success and self-sufficiency.
Santa Rosa’s Sleepers include Susan Backer, Keith Becker, Pete Brown, Darren Inness, Joti Chandi, Laura Doty, Aaron, Friedman, Julia Marble, Megan Melendez, Keith Roberts, Peter Rumble, Supervisor Shirlee Zane and more! All dedicated to showing solidarity with the most vulnerable youth in our community and giving them the tools to achieve self-sufficiency. Click here to see the full list of Santa Rosa Sleepers.
How you can help
Three ways you can make a difference for young people in Sonoma County:
- Make a life-changing donation today here. This year our goal is to raise $200,000 to support SAY’s housing, counseling, and career services.
- Attend One Cold Gathering, our event kickoff and candle light vigil on December 7th at the SAY Dream Center. Click here to learn more.
- Donate the gift of your time by signing up to be a volunteer!