- What is the COVID-19 Navigation Site (CNS)?
The CNS is a temporary non-congregant (one person per space) homeless housing site providing a shelter-in place location for up to 25 citizens experiencing homelessness. Similar sites are now operating in Camp Meeker, Los Guillicos, the Finley Community Center and various hotels in Santa Rosa and Healdsburg.
- What are the goals of the site?
The goals of the site are two-fold:
a. Enhance public safety by allowing unhoused citizens an opportunity to shelter-in-place and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to all members of the community
b. Provide a stable site/address, until December 1, at which residents can reside in safety, secure their possessions, receive food/sanitation/medical support and focus on health stabilization and a path to more permanent housing. Residents will be provided masks, hand sanitizer, tents, and cots at least 10’ apart. Temperature checks and health screening will be conducted daily.
- What is the location of the site?
The CNS is located at 16574 Hwy 116N in Guerneville, CA. It is also the Park N Ride at the west end of town.
- Who will live at the site?
WCCS closed the shelter at the Guerneville Veterans Building and moved these clients to the CNS. As space is available, WCCS will also house clients living outside downtown and take referrals from West County Health Centers for their most vulnerable patients. The site opened on August 11.
- Why close the Veterans Building and open the Park N Ride?
The Veterans Building has been used for more than a decade as an Emergency Winter Shelter (December 1-March 31). The shelter was extended this year due to COVID-19. However, health officials recommend outdoor sites due to air circulation, more room for spacing, sunshine, etc. The Veterans Building is extremely hot during the summer and it is difficult for people to maintain distance and protocols in such an itinerant setting. Also, the shelter is only open from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. which leaves residents on the streets during the busiest times of day. Due to heat and poor air circulation, fewer homeless citizens have been staying at the shelter, opting to stay outside which creates a greater health hazard for all. The CNS is a 24/7 operation.
- How is the site managed?
The site is managed following the basic tenets of the successful outdoor efforts at Los Guillicos and Finley with 24/7 onsite staffing/security. Many shelter workers migrated to the CNS. There is a Site Manager, support staff and a Housing Navigator to assist residents in transitioning to more stable permanent housing.
- Are there rules?
Yes. As at the shelter, each client must agree to and sign a code of conduct and set of rules. WCCS follows a harm reduction model and enforces progressive discipline ending in expulsion from the site. We work closely with the Sheriff’s substation in this regard.
- What are the hours of operation?
The CNS operates 24/7. Clients must register by 9:00 p.m. or they cannot enter
until the next day at 7:00 a.m. Quiet hours are from 8:30 p.m. until 7 a.m. The nighttime hours may be adjusted with the changing daylight hours.
- Are meals being served?
WCCS provides onsite meals for CNS residents. Meals will be created at the Senior Center and, in some cases, ordered from other sources.
- How will trash be handled?
Residents are required to pick up their own trash within the site. The Clean River Alliance (CRA) coordinates resident-staffed cleanups in the surrounding area. CRA and WCCS staff spent several hours cleaning the Park N Ride, which housed engine parts, an abandoned car and large piles of trash prior to our entry.
- Who can enter the site?
This is a legal address. Only service providers and residents can enter the site, as well as first responders as necessary.
- Is the area fenced?
The site is fenced along 116 with green screening to minimize visual impact and tied into the current fencing on the east, west and south. More can be added as necessary. There are three entrance/exits as required by public safety.
- What about sanitation?
Two porta-potties and handwashing stations are onsite.
- What about fire danger?
The site has been reviewed and approved by the Fire Marshall. Fire extinguishers are spaced per fire safety requirements. Smoking on site is only permitted in a designated smoking area.
- How is healthcare provided?
Medical staff from West County Health Centers are providing medical attention to residents, many of whom are already their patients. Showers are provided at the Veterans Building. Handwashing stations are on site.
- I want further information about the COVID-19 Navigation site. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about the site.
August 31, 2020