"Homelessness remains the crucial issue for Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. As a community, we need to quicken the pace to finding long-term solutions to ending homelessness. 

I strongly support Caritas Village, a partnership between Catholic Charities and Burbank Housing, because it will get people into permanent supportive housing and then help them resolve the issues that led them into homelessness, including debt, lack of employment, family problems, addictions or other physical and mental health issues.

Developed here in Santa Rosa, Caritas Village can be a national role model for reducing homelessness in a comprehensive and caring way." - Steve Falk

Press Democrat, January 25, 2019

Press Democrat, January 25, 2019

Press Democrat, March 21, 2018

Press Democrat, March 21, 2018

Press Democrat, March 16, 2018

Press Democrat, March 16, 2018

San Francisco Chronicle, March 12, 2018

San Francisco Chronicle, March 12, 2018

Sonoma State Star, February 27, 2018

Sonoma State Star, February 27, 2018

Press Democrat, February 16, 2018

Press Democrat, February 16, 2018

Press Democrat, November 18, 2018

Press Democrat, November 18, 2018

Speaker Requests and Media Inquiries

Caritas Village in the News

The Press Democrat, A new approach to ending homelessness
5-5-19 | You’ve heard the bad news: The rate of homelessness in Sonoma County is an astonishing three times the national average. On any given night approximately 3,000 of our neighbors are without a home. More than 21,000 county residents are one crisis away from homelessness . . READ ARTICLE

The Press Democrat, Bay Area has most visible homeless population in the nation
4-10-19
| The 28,000 people in the Bay Area scattered in emergency shelters, temporary housing and on the streets make it the third-largest homeless population in the nation, behind New York City and Los Angeles, according to a report released Wednesday by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. . . READ ARTICLE

The Press Democrat, Health providers donate $1 million each to Catholic Charities’ Santa Rosa health and homeless campus
4-4-19
| Catholic Charities, Sonoma County’s leading provider of homeless services, is advancing its ambitious plans to build a health and housing campus in downtown Santa Rosa and two of the area’s largest health care providers, St. Joseph’s Health and Kaiser Permanente, have each donated $1 million to the effort. READ ARTICLE

Sonoma County Gazette, Catholic Charities’ Housing Director Discusses Motivation for Social Workers
2-24-19
| The rainy season always hits hard at Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa. The nonprofit, one of Sonoma County’s largest shelter and service providers for the approximately 3,000 people living on the streets, has to scramble to support an influx of people seeking shelter during the winter months. . . READ ARTICLE

The Press Democrat, Sonoma County gets low grade for housing affordability in real estate report
2-12-19 |  Local officials and real estate brokers said the report confirms California has a housing crisis, and Gov. Gavin Newsom concurred Tuesday in his State of the State address. . . READ ARTICLE

The Press Democrat, Annual homeless census Conducted Friday to quantify extent of homelessness in Sonoma County
1-25-19 |  Huddled under a white fleece blanket, a person slept on a long asphalt driveway early Friday morning next to the Roseland Community Library in southwest Santa Rosa. A damaged wheelchair sat just a couple of feet away, under a sign printed on the side of the library that stated “No Trespassing.” In the pre-dawn darkness, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Lisa Boehm saw the blanket move. . . READ ARTICLE

Northbay Biz, Catholic Charities General Articles
1-1-19 |  Since last year’s wildfires, Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa has been instrumental in helping displaced residents find secure housing in Sonoma and Napa Counties. The nonprofit has adopted a model to meet county-specific approaches for the two areas. The majority of the need is concentrated in Sonoma County. . . . READ ARTICLE

Press Democrat, Santa Rosa police disband reclaimed homeless camp in Roseland
11-29-18 |  A group of homeless individuals who tried to reclaim the site of an old encampment behind the Dollar Tree in Roseland were ordered to leave by officials Tuesday. . . READ ARTICLE

Press Democrat, Rebuilding Sonoma County: Catholic community rallies to support aid efforts
11-24-18 |  St. Rose Catholic Church has become a de facto headquarters for Catholic relief work in Santa Rosa, with plans to expand the outreach to fire-ravaged Butte County. . . READ ARTICLE

Huffington Post, San Francisco Bay Area’s Homeless Can’t Escape Bad Air Quality From Wildfires
11-19-18 |  As smoke still hangs heavy in Northern California from the deadly Camp fire, some of the most vulnerable groups can’t easily find respite . . . READ ARTICLE

Inside Philanthropy, Rallying Around Relief: In the Face of Wildfires, California Funders Take Action
11-14-18 |  With flames ablaze and billowing smoke at both ends of the state, it seems that wildfires have become the new normal in California. In response, regional grantmaking associations have emerged as sources of fire-related relief information and central points of contact for donors who want to help . . . READ ARTICLE

Speedway Digest, Santa Rosa City Council Offers Financial Incentives to Landlords Who Rent to Homeless
11-13-18 |  Fifty-five Sonoma County non-profit organizations will benefit from nearly $450,000 in grants recently awarded by the Sonoma chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities (SCC), the charitable arm of Sonoma Speedway . . . READ ARTICLE

KSRO, INTERVIEW: The State Of Homelessness Now And Going Forward In Santa Rosa
11-1-18 |  Director of Shelter & Housing at Catholic Charities, Jennielynn Holmes-Davis, speaks to the remainder of people at Corporate Center Parkway and the followup she’s been conducting with some of the homeless who were living there, the expectations of what will happen when the eighteen month mark is reached for insurance payments and how it could lead to an increase in the homeless population, the what the chances are that a permanent homeless housing encampment will be created in Santa Rosa . . . LISTEN TO STORY

North Bay Business Journal, North Bay business briefs from Burbank Housing, Tri Counties Bank, Bartholomew Estate Winery and more
11-1-18 |  The American Planning Association and its APA Foundation have awarded Santa Rosa and six other communities $78,000 in disaster-recovery grants. The grants were funded through the APA Foundation’s community-assistance initiative. The grants will aid communities that were impacted by natural disasters including hurricanes, floods and wildfires during 2017. Given to aid in recovery from the 2017 wildfires, the Santa Rosa grant will go to the Burbank Housing Development Corporation for a California APA chapter wildfire recovery Community Planning Assistance Team . . . READ ARTICLE

KSRO, Santa Rosa City Council Offers Financial Incentives to Landlords Who Rent to Homeless
10-29-18 |  Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa is looking for landlords willing to rent to area homeless people. The city council has allocated over 500-thousand dollars to help fund the nonprofit’s new landlord incentive program for one year . . . LISTEN TO STORY

Press Democrat, Santa Rosa nonprofit offers landlords cash incentives to rent to city’s homeless
10-28-18 | Catholic Charities is searching for landlords like Else, who are willing to rent to homeless individuals. It launched a new landlord incentive program to encourage more property owners to rent to Santa Rosa’s homeless, a group that has long struggled competing for housing in Sonoma County’s tight and costly rental market, said Jennielynn Holmes, the nonprofit’s senior director of shelter and housing. The problem only has worsened since last year’s wildfires, which destroyed more than 3,000 homes in Santa Rosa alone.. . . READ ARTICLE

KCBS, North Bay Fire Effort Raised Almost $100 Million, But How Did It Get Used?
10-13-18 | Nearly $100 million was raised to help with the recovery from the North Bay wildfires of October 2017, but where did all of that money go and how has it been used? . . . READ ARTICLE

Fox 40 News, How the Tubbs Fire Affected Santa Rosa’s Homeless Population
10-9-18 | SANTA ROSA -- Jeremy Marney lives with his mother inside their van on Apolo Way in Santa Rosa. Their vehicle is just one of dozens parked there, many of those with families seeking more permanent places to live . . . READ ARTICLE

SF Gate, Tipping Point Distributes More Than $30M For Fire Relief To North Bay Nonprofits
10-9-18 | The nonprofit Tipping Point Community today announced it has allocated more than $30 million to organizations supporting low-income communities hardest hit by last year's wildfires in Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino counties . . . READ ARTICLE

Press Democrat, Neighbors cite concerns about Santa Rosa homeless shelter project
3-21-18 | Neighbors who would be directly affected by redevelopment of a downtown Santa Rosa city block eyed for construction of low-income housing and new homeless services outlined a litany of misgivings about the ambitious project Wednesday night, starting with its sheer size. Weighing in publicly for the first time, and often divided in their opinions, several residents of the St. Rose and West End neighborhoods told a city planner that the 137 new apartment units and 52-family shelter envisioned for the site could overwhelm the area with traffic and unmet parking needs, and, they fear, unwanted loitering . . . READ ARTICLE

San Francisco Chronicle, North Bay fires fuel a population explosion in homeless camps
3-12-18 | Andreas Gunn reckons he had a pretty sweet life before Oct. 8. The 22-year-old was working a job he liked swabbing grease out of kitchens, lived with his uncle in the Santa Rosa subdivision of Coffey Park and was saving money for a car. Then came the Tubbs Fire, which took his uncle’s house and more than 4,600 others. Gunn’s job disappeared in days as his uncle, who was also his employer, moved out of town. Today, Gunn lives in the broken-down RV he blew all $1,400 of his savings on after the fire so he could have a roof. He parks it on the south edge of town in a featureless spread of business parks, alongside 30 or so other RVs mostly belonging to fire survivors. Down the road are tent camps that held about 60 people before the disaster but now harbor 250 . . . READ ARTICLE

Press Democrat, Public meeting called on downtown Santa Rosa housing and homeless services proposal
3-6-18 | Santa Rosa has scheduled a public meeting to air plans and invite comment on a large-scale proposal for new housing and expanded homeless services on most of a downtown block between Highway 101 and the Plaza shopping mall. The March 21 meeting will include a description of the project and an opportunity for the public to ask questions of representatives for Catholic Charities and Burbank Housing, the two nonprofits behind the ambitious plan. The intention, in part, is to identify potential objections in advance of a formal permit application, by giving “neighbors a chance to digest what their proposal is,” city planner Kristinae Toomians said . . . READ ARTICLE 

Sonoma State Star, Annual homeless census shows fire impact on local communities
2-27-18 | Due to many factors including unemployment, lack of affordable housing, poor physical or mental health and drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness appears to be on the rise in Sonoma County. According to the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, 35 percent of people homeless in Santa Rosa have some form of physical or medical disability. While these are not the only contributing factors, they do blend together in the lives of those who struggle with homelessness daily. Jennielynn Holmes, senior director of shelter and housing at Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, said that contributing factors specific to Sonoma County are hard to pinpoint because “it’s always a conditional situation. It could be a combination of things, but it is usually a pretty traumatic event.”  . . . READ ARTICLE

Press Democrat, Downtown block in Santa Rosa slated for low-cost housing, homeless services
2-16-18 | Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa is drawing up plans to transform nearly an entire city block with a new homeless service center, family shelter and nearly 140 low-cost apartments in partnership with nonprofit Burbank Housing. The ambitious project, just now being unveiled to the public, would replace existing facilities and several homes on a downtown city block bounded by Sixth and Seventh, A and Morgan streets, northwest of the Santa Rosa Plaza mall. The proposal, contemplated for several years though only now beginning to take shape on paper, has “had very positive feedback,” Catholic Charities Executive Director Len Marabella said . . . READ ARTICLE