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UPBEAT TIMES, INC. • JUNE 2020 • Pg 21


Safe Social Distancing Program Now Open


J.J. Velarde ~ jjvelardewrites@gmail.com


Sebastopol, CA. ~ On May 18th, the City of Santa Rosa and Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa opened the Safe Social Distanc- ing Program (SSDP) Site at the Finley Center Parking Lot. Now, the SSD Program houses about 23 folks ex- perienc- ing home- lessness and is accept- ing more applica- tions. As an emergency response to the pan- demic, the SSDP aims to match up to approxi- mately 141 total unshel- tered folks with motel rooms, or at the Finley site, throughout the re- mainder of the shel- ter-in-place order. The City’s mission to protect its residents begins with strengthening the shel- tered population by shel- tering the unsheltered manifesting the Dalai Lama’s call to universal responsibility—or the Buddhist concept of ev- ery beings’ profound im- pact on the experience of another.


Homeless encamp- ments often represent


nuisance and safety risks. To meet the chal- lenge posed by CDC protocols in conjunction with the shelter-in-place order, the City’s Home- less Services Depart- ment enacted the Local Emergency Proclama- tion to channel resources and partnerships. First,


first ever virtual commu- nity meeting. Many on the west side were skep- tical about the selection of the Finley Parking lot, but some voiced relief during the City’s virtual exposé and Q&A on the SSDP. Captain Cregan of the SR Police De- partment, Mike McAl- len of the Fire De- partment, alongside Mayor Schwed- helm, Kelli Kuyken- dall


of


Housing and Com- munity Services, and Jen- niely nn


the City placed porta- ble toilets, hand-wash- ing stations, and waste containers near existing encampments. Then, the city placed around 71 high-risk unsheltered individuals, ages 65 and up, in motel rooms as an alternative to a congre- gate shelter. By May, the city established the Finley Parking Lot site complete with support from Catholic Charities in providing security, laundry, showers, and meal services provided by local restaurants. In preparation for the


Finley move-in date, the City mailed letters out to residents and invited folks to participate in its


Holmes of Catholic Charities presented their careful evaluation of the site. In comparison to the JC, and the SR Fair- grounds, the site can house the full SSDP ca- pacity (above), is a City owned establishment, may still maintain its sta- tus as a fire evacuation shelter, and meets safety requirements. Addition- ally, the SRPD is closely monitoring the site and surrounding areas. Un- sheltered folks who ap- ply are pre-screened and must agree to the Good Neighbor policy. Tents at the Finley site


are available to individu- als, couples, and pets on a case-by-case basis.


To get more information: go to... SRcity.org/COVID19homelesssupport Do something wonderful, people may imitate it. ~ Albert Schweitzer


$12 per 15 minutes!


Western Farm Store 2 Door “From our store, to your door!”*


*We deliver Monday through Friday in Santa Rosa only. And it’s a next day, no touch delivery!


Get your dog cleaner than ever! Our convenient wash stations have all you’ll need!


garden supplies! Summer is coming!


Vaccination clinics every Sunday from 9:30am to 11:30 am


Western Farm Center Santa Rosa


Since 1967 we’ve been the favorite place to shop for your pets & farm animals!


www.westernfarmcenter.com Mon-Sat 8am-5:30pm • Sun 9:30am-4pm


(707) 545-0721 21 West 7th Street


UPBEAT TIMES, INC. • JUNE 2020 • Pg 21


Also visit us to get vegetable seeds, bulbs and


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