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FAQ

What’s the background of 572 Lives?

When the fires were happening, community leaders knew that some people would have a harder time bouncing back than others. We also knew, based on what had happened after Hurricane Katrina, that people would feel the effects for months and years. COTS didn’t lose property in the fires, so we feel it’s our duty to step up and help.

What will you do?

Simply put, we’re going to help at least 572 people find housing. And we’re going to do it by expanding on two of our existing programs: Rapid Re-Housing and Integrity Housing in a new small service center in Santa Rosa.

Can you describe your two approaches in more detail?

Both programs serve families with children as well as individual adults. Rapid Re-Housing provides temporary financial assistance and supportive services to help people get back on their feet. The goal is to find housing the family or individual will be able afford long-term, and provide assistance and connections to services in the community such as childcare and job assistance – which will allow them to achieve independence.

“We’ve been providing Rapid Re-Housing for five years now, and we have a housing retention rate of 90 percent.”

In Integrity Housing, we master lease large houses or apartments and rent out the individual bedrooms. We try to keep the rents to about half of what someone would pay for a one-bedroom apartment. It’s affordable to folks with very low incomes—disabled adults, for example, or single parents who can only work part time until their children are in school.

Is this a new program for COTS?

We’ve been providing Rapid Re-Housing for five years now and we have a housing retention rate of 90 percent. Our residents work hard to hang on to their housing once they’ve regained it, but our talented staff members also have a lot to do with that retention rate. Our participants work hard to hang on to their housing once they’ve regained it, and our talented staff support them diligently in this goal. We’ve been operating Integrity Houses since 2005, and we work hard to maintain good relationships with our landlords and our neighbors.

How is it funded?

We are grateful to Redwood Credit Union Community Fund, Tipping Point Community, and County of Sonoma for kick starting this effort – and we definitely need more donations. If you can help, please call Sarah Quinto, Chief Development Officer, at 707.765.6530 x 100 or email at squinto@cots.org

  • Total cost: $2.8MM over 3 years
  • Amount still needed: $275,000 (about 10% of the total cost).
  • Average cost per person: $4,865.
  • How the money is used: 84% goes towards direct financial assistance and staff (case management, housing specialists, and real estate development). 16% funds operating, administration, and location costs.

More information on giving after a crisis

Charity Navigator – Tips for Giving in Times of Crisis

Center for Disaster Philanthropy