For Immediate Release
Sonoma County to reopen Joe Rodota Trail
SANTA ROSA, CA | August 04, 2022
Sonoma County Regional Parks announced today that it has reopened a section of the Joe Rodota Trail in Santa Rosa that had been closed due to public safety concerns after the appearance of two homeless encampments along the trail.
County officials announced that all of the homeless individuals in the encampments have either moved or been relocated to alternative shelter sites in the area. Some fencing will remain in place for the time being to prevent other encampments from forming along the trail.
“This was a very complex issue that the county as a whole has been working to solve in the long term,” said Supervisor Chris Coursey, whose district includes a portion of the Joe Rodota Trail. “Our goal all along has been to get the trail reopened to the general public as soon as possible, and I’m pleased that we were able to get that done.”
A section of the trail along Highway 12 between Dutton Avenue and Wright Road was closed on July 8 due to concerns about the camp’s impact on the safety of those using the 8.5-mile path that connects downtown Santa Rosa to Sebastopol. Working together, staff from the county’s Department of Health Services and Community Development Commission were able to place 71 individuals from the encampments at alternative shelters. These include eight persons housed at Sam Jones Hall in Santa Rosa and other congregate shelters, along with 63 persons housed between Los Guilicos Village in east Santa Rosa and a non-congregate site off Brookwood Avenue across from the Sonoma County Fairgrounds where residents are being housed in trailers acquired from the state Office of Emergency Services.
Sonoma County Regional Parks Department completed the clean-up process at the trail and removed the debris earlier this week.
“We are happy to be reopening the Joe Rodota Trail,” said Melanie Parker, deputy director of Regional Parks. “We know what an important recreation and transportation corridor it is for our community.”
Individuals camped at the site who opted for the alternative shelters received assistance from county staff to relocate their belongings. A dump truck was also provided to the individuals at the trail to discard any unwanted belongings as they relocated.
Sonoma County remains committed to both addressing our homeless neighbors’ needs compassionately and fairly and retaining public spaces for their intended public use.
For more information on Sonoma County’s homelessness services please visit sonomacounty.ca.gov.