DignityMoves, The City of Rohnert Park and HomeFirst Services broke ground on a 60 Unit Interim Supportive Housing project slated to open in the latter part this year. This will be the first interim housing development in Rohnert Park, which came about after the city, DignityMoves, and HomeFirst were awarded $14.6 million in funding from the State of California’s Homekey Program.
This new interim housing site will provide 60 private, dignified rooms that will be part of a community with shared spaces for dining and recreation, restrooms, showers, laundry, case management offices, computer lab, gardening, and pets. Construction of this new project is under the oversight of DignityMoves, a local nonprofit that works to end unsheltered street homelessness in our communities by building Interim Supportive Housing with rapid, cost- effective, scalable solutions. The site will be designed by Gensler and constructed by Swinerton Builders to create a welcome and secure space for our most vulnerable residents.
Elizabeth Funk, Founder and CEO of DignityMoves said, “We are thrilled to partner with the city and HomeFirst Services to help dramatically reduce homelessness in Rohnert Park. Interim Supportive Housing plays a vital role in a city’s overall strategy for addressing unsheltered homelessness. It takes time to find permanent housing; people need a safe, dignified place in the interim. The longer people are on the streets, trauma takes a serious toll, making future successful outcomes much more challenging. This project will provide the opportunity for people experiencing homelessness in Rohnert Park to come indoors immediately and begin rebuilding their lives.”
Once complete, HomeFirst will lead the program and operations of the site. With over 40 years of experience serving unhoused residents, HomeFirst excels at working with the hardest to serve populations going the extra mile to help them find and keep permanent housing. “We are very excited about our partnership with DignityMoves and the City of Rohnert Park. Our synergy will help find healthy and dignified solutions to homelessness for the entire community,” Andrea Urton, Chief Executive Officer.
City of Rohnert Park Mayor Jackie Elward said, “There are over 2700 people experiencing homelessness in the county and 9 percent of them are right here in Rohnert Park. Until now, we have had no emergency shelters or interim housing available to offer in our city. I am thrilled to have this Project Homekey grant and partners like DignityMoves and HomeFirst to help us move the most vulnerable and marginalized among us into dignified spaces so they can get the help they need to move out of homelessness.”
Wells Fargo Bank is a major funding partner for costs not covered by the Homekey Grant. Said Erica Trejo, SVP WFB “We are focused on collaborating with community stakeholders, like DignityMoves and HomeFirst, to create affordable and safe places for people to call home. Far too many people in our community face housing instability and lack of shelter. At Wells Fargo, we believe home is a sanctuary, a place where we feel safe and where we can recharge. Having access to a safe and affordable place to call home for our most vulnerable residents is the foundation for wellness, dignity, and economic opportunity. We are honored to be able to help support such an important project that is making brighter futures possible in our community.”
On June 6th at 2 p.m. at 6020 Labath Avenue, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to celebrate the start of the project. The mayor and City Council of Rohnert Park and representatives from DignityMoves, HomeFirst Services, Wells Fargo Bank and other community leaders spoke on the partnership and project plans. Refreshments were served.