One Cold Night 2018: Sonoma Valley
We are only 5 days away from One Cold Night! So far we have touched on four of our sleeping sites – today we are heading to Sonoma Valley to learn more about the unique needs of youth in this area.
This week we are talking about Sonoma Valley-the needs of young people here, how SAY helps, and how you can get involved with our annual fall fundraiser!
The needs of youth in Sonoma Valley
There are at least 24 youth experiencing homelessness in Sonoma Valley at any given time according to the 2018 Point-In-Time Homeless Census and Survey. The Sonoma Valley area of “the Springs” includes several of the bottom five neighborhoods on the educational and health indexes of Sonoma County, and three in every ten people are children (A Portrait of Sonoma County 2014). According to A Portrait, about eight in every ten children in these areas comes from a disadvantaged background. These youth have unique needs when it comes to the services they need.
SAY staff reports that the youth they encounter are hesitant to leave the area, even to access services. In order to reach these youth, it is critical SAY continues to office consistent services where the youth are instead of asking them to travel to the services.
How SAY helps in Sonoma Valley
The counseling department at SAY provides no-cost grief and loss support services to children, youth and their families in Sonoma Valley- including group-based work, training parents and caregivers to identify signs a young person is struggling with grief and summertime art for self-care workshops. We also provide school-based mental health services at Sonoma Valley High School and the surrounding two middle schools.
Our Careers Department provides site-based case management services in Sonoma Valley as well as conducting in-school presentations in order to connect students to both SAY’s services and other community resources.
The SAY Street Outreach Team spends one day a week connecting with youth who are homeless or at risk or homelessness by addressing their most immediate needs, including housing support, hygiene supplies, food and referrals to key services.
Why we sleep
Youth are still the most unsheltered homeless population in Sonoma County, but are so often left out of the conversation. Our sleepers have decided to spend one night outside to raise awareness for youth that spend many nights. Together, we can help give them a voice.
One Cold Night Sonoma Valley sleepers include Chris Mahurin, Supervisor Susan Gorin, Chelsea Lazzari, Mike Sullivan, Gary Saperstein, and Rachel Hundley! Click here to see the full list of Sonoma Valley Sleepers – they’ve raised over $7,000 so far!
How you can help
Two ways you can make a difference for young people in Sonoma Valley: