The Emergency Warming Center is CLOSED today.
The City of Sonoma recognizes that unsheltered individuals may need assistance to stay warm during an Extreme Cold Weather Event. To address this need, the City of Sonoma may supplement existing Sonoma County Winter Shelter operations by operating an Emergency Warming Center at the Haven as necessary.
The Haven is the City's emergency homeless shelter and is located at 151 First St. W, in the Sonoma Police Department parking lot, next to the Dog Park.
The City Council approved guidelines for opening an emergency warming center at their November 15, 2023, meeting for the 2023/2024 winter season. The approved policy and guidelines constitute a temporary plan, and the City will continue to collaborate with regional jurisdictions to formalize responses to the increased frequency of extreme weather events, adjusting the response plan accordingly.
In the winter of 2022/2023, the City with financial assistance from the County and volunteer staff support by our local non-profit homeless service providers opened an Extreme Weather Warming Center at the Sonoma Veterans Hall for a total of eight nights. On average it served seven individuals an evening.
The activation of the Extreme Weather Warming Center put considerable strain on the City's day-to-day operations given that the City does not have adequate capacity to staff and manage an emergency Warming Center for any length of time. In addition, the City did not have defined criteria or a established guidelines for opening emergency warming centers.
The City acknowledged the need for a policy due to the increasing frequency of extreme weather events and proposed criteria for activation to supplement existing county-wide winter shelter operations. The temporary plan emphasizes collaboration with regional jurisdictions to address the growing challenges posed by extreme weather events.
On November 15, 2023, Sonoma City Council adopted an operational policy for the opening of an emergency warming center in response to extreme weather events (Resolution # 75-2023), and on November 28, 2023, the City issued an RFP for a warming center/shelter operator.