One Cold Night 2018: North County
We are only two weeks away from SAY’s annual fall fundraiser, One Cold Night! Participating in One Cold Night is an act of solidarity — a demonstration in word and action to youth experiencing homelessness that you care. 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. Read on to learn more about North County and the unique needs of young people in this area.
The needs of youth in North County
According to the 2018 Point-In-Time Homeless Census and Survey there are at least 84 youth experiencing homelessness in North County right now. Many of the youth that SAY serves in North County are children of migrant farm workers experiencing chronic poverty and economic instability. Many of these young people feel that the extreme polarity in socioeconomic standing in their area does not lend itself to an accessible middle class status or upward economic mobility. These youth often have a tough time accessing higher education because they are focused on helping their families make ends meet working multiple jobs. Additionally, the isolated geography makes it more difficult for youth to access services and support. For example, a high school student living in Geyserville that does not have technology or internet access at home is forced to travel to Cloverdale or Healdsburg in order to get homework done that requires a computer.
How SAY helps in North County
The SAY Street Outreach team spends on day a week connecting with young people who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless by addressing their most immediate needs. Our team hands out socks, food, hygiene supplies and critical referrals to key services. This team’s mission is to engage vulnerable youth with the goals of safety, trusting relationships, mental health support and connecting them to services that can lead to permanent housing. SAY also partners with the nonprofit Reach for Home to identiﬁed vulnerable youth and provide them with supplies, services and basic human needs support.
In addition to service partnerships, SAY partners with many other types of local agencies in order to meet the needs of young people. One of our most recent partnerships is the Sonoma County Medical Association (SCMA) and the Medical Society of Sonoma County, the non-profit arm of SCMA. On December 7th, SCMA Executive Director, Wendy Young, and SCMA President, Patricia May, MD, Kaiser surgeon will be sleeping out in North County in support of the most vulnerable youth in our community.
“We believe in SAY’s mission of service to the youth of Sonoma County,” explains Wendy. “We understand that when we support SAY, we are helping to keep the youth of our community from ending up in local hospitals and emergency rooms, as well as off the streets where any number of dangers are lurking, waiting for a moment to strike, offering alleged peace of mind or security. The staff at SAY is exceptional and we are happy to support their efforts for offering true peace of mind, security and direction.”
Why we sleep
This event harnesses the power of the individual, combined with the power of a community, to affect real change at a local level. Every dollar raised by Sleepers and their networks goes directly to getting young people off the streets, out of human trafficking, and connected with caring adults and support services.
One Cold Night North County Sleepers include Ashley Fehrmann, Vince Figueroa, Patricia May, Lisa Scahffner, Lindsey Styles, Wendy Young and more! These sleepers know that when an entire community stands together in support of those who need it most, we make true progress toward a brighter, stronger future. Click here to see the full list of North County Sleepers – they’ve raised over $10,000 so far!
How you can help
Two ways you can make a difference for young people in Sonoma County: