Tuesday officers from the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety conducted a homeless outreach activity along the creek paths of Rohnert Park. Officers Thompson and Sergeant Marshall patrolled along the creeks and contacted individuals residing in homeless camps. Their goal was to provide resource material for the homeless in an effort to try and clean up the creek as well as steer these individuals towards help offered within the county. The dangers of homeless camps are endless to include, public urination, defecation, drug paraphernalia, garbage and other public nuisances.
Three established encampments were located and seven people were contacted. All of the individuals were provided pamphlets on resources available to them regarding food, shelter, housing, medical, psych services, veteran services as well as other services. Approximately two months ago, the Director of Public Safety, Brian Masterson provided the same information to a known transient who panhandled at the same location every day. He [transient] sought the help and is now employed, has a home and getting the medical care that he desperately needed. "All of us have aspirations to have a job, a home and a family. Sometimes, life takes us down a road we never imagined. We don't get to change the road, we have to navigate it and get to our destination", said Commander Aaron Johnson. "This is our chance to be their “Google Map”. If we can help in setting them on the right course, it is up to them to follow the directions.”
The Department is sensitive to the issue of homelessness and wants to be a conduit to help those individuals who need a hand.
If you see a homeless camp, please contact the Department of Public Safety and we will start working with the individuals to help them seek services if they choose.
The officers plan to conduct these sweeps every two weeks for the next several months.
Aaron Johnson , PIO