Hops for Homes

Come hop, come dine, come relax and unwind at Hops for Homes, our annual community celebration!

Hops for Homes
Lagunitas Brewing Company
1280 North McDowell Blvd
Petaluma, CA 94953

We’re celebrating our incredible volunteers – and raising money for our Kids First Family Shelter! It’s going to be a fantastic night of rock and soul with Petaluma’s hottest band, The Highway Poets – and if you’re lucky, you’ll take home one of our amazing raffle prizes or silent auction packages. Dinner comes courtesy of Anna B’s Kitchen with dessert by Three Twins Ice Cream and Petaluma Pie Company.

Kids ten and under get in free and every kid is welcome at the Active 20-30 Club’s Kid’s Corner for games and crafts. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. All proceeds support KFFS, so come on out , have a great time, and make a difference in the lives of our kids and families!

See the full list of raffle prizes and auction items here.

Get your tickets now!


Linda knows better than anyone that shelter should be a last resort.

That’s because it was her last resort two years ago for five months while she recovered from emergency brain surgery.

Now, she works as a COTS’ Diversion Specialist, helping people avoid the disruption of homelessness and shelter living. “I was treated well when I stayed here,” Linda says. “I got the help I needed, but there’s not much sleeping, not much rest in a shelter. You always feel off balance.”

Learn more about Linda's story


Monday nights, a mix of people fill our dining room. Some live in big, comfortable homes and make big, comfortable incomes; some sleep on bunkbeds in our dorm and earn little or nothing.

All of them share the same goals: to remain sober and to live well and honorably, relying on each other and a higher power for support.

The N.A. Group that meets at the Mary Isaak Center is aptly called, “Shelter from the Storm.”

“Hank,” the group’s secretary says the location works for everyone—people like himself who are housed, working, and have years of sobriety under their belts, and people who live at the Mary Isaak Center, dealing with lots of uncertainty.

“We’re all there for the same reason,” Hank says. “And every meeting at the MIC sticks for me. There are always new people to hear from. I get excited by anyone new because it’s one more person to carry the message.”

He tells the people he sponsors to “find something to be grateful for.”

In a homeless shelter?

“I always tell my sponsees, I’ve done time in correctional facilities. Anytime I wake up in a room where I can open the door, that’s a day to be grateful for,” Hank says.

Alcoholics Anonymous also holds meeting at the Mary Isaak Center. We are grateful that the recovery community reaches out to COTS and our clients!


“My job,” says Rachell Salyer, “is to help people turn an overwhelming beast into a bunch of tiny monsters that we can slay one at a time.”

The beast: finding and keeping rental housing in this crazy market.

The monsters: low income, troubled credit, low-wage employment, lack of inventory, poor health, crazy competition, high rents, lack of knowledge or time or confidence or childcare or—you name it!

Rachell works at our Laure Reichek Housing Hub in Santa Rosa as a Housing Navigator in one of our Rapid Re-Housing programs—this one, community-funded to provide short-term financial assistance and services to the first and second wave victims of the 2017 fires. Since July 1, she’s helped house 94 people, 27 of them children.  One hundred percent of her participants have remained in their housing after COTS’ rental assistance ended. And she’s well on track to house at least 33 more people by July 1, the target we set with our funders.

How does she do it?

James’ Story

James joined the Marines at 17. “I was mad at everyone,” he says, “and I just wanted to get away.”

He’d lost his father four years earlier. James was himself in intensive care at the time, after having been hit by a drunk driver. He didn’t get to see his dad before he died. “I was in a hospital in Novato and he was in a hospital in San Francisco. I went the bad way after that,” he says.

While in the Marines, James suffered a sexual assault. Admitting victimization in the armed forces isn’t an easy thing today. But it was unthinkable in the 1980s. As a result of the trauma he couldn’t acknowledge, James’ on-the-job performance suffered. He left the service without an honorable discharge–and, therefore, without access to many of the services that could potentially help him.

James’ life after that was a seesaw. He’d muscle through long chapters of stability and prosperity. A jack of all trades, he’s at home in a restaurant kitchen, a hospital, or a construction site, and he did well at all his jobs for a time. But he was also contending with undiagnosed depression and panic and anxiety attacks. Drugs helped, but they also made him homeless several times. “Pretty soon, I’d be out there ripping and roaring in the bushes,” he says. “It was inevitable.”

In his 40s and 50s, he thought he had it licked. He had his own apartment, good jobs, and savings. He saw his mom regularly and helped her out around the house.

But while he was away on a construction site, his mom died. Once again, a parent died without a farewell. James’ sister and best friend died shortly after and James fell apart.

He was camping in the bushes around the Mary Isaak Center, coming in for lunch. “[Shelter Manager] Silvia told me how to get a bed,” James said. But she and James’ Housing Navigator Pamela didn’t let him stay in that bed too long. “I woke up in my bunk one day and they were there, telling me it was time to go to treatment.”

“I went because I knew them and trusted them,” James says. “I also knew that I just didn’t have another run in me.”

After James returned from treatment, Pamela helped him find housing in Petaluma in a house dedicated to homeless veterans. “I see Pam every week. She comes out to the house to check in. It keeps me connected.” Pam helped him connect with a therapist which is proving helpful. He also values the connection he’s made with Annie Nichol, the Petaluma Heath Care Center nurse practitioner headquartered at the Mary Isaak Center.

He’s taken on a leadership role in the local recovery community “which helps a lot. It’s good to be busy and helpful,” he says. Pamela encouraged him to take care of his health, so three days a week, James joins a roomful of women for a kickboxing class. “In a lot of ways, this has been the most powerful part of my recovery,” he says.

Vida Garden Project

Last weekend at Vida Nueva, the Rohnert Park apartment complex where COTS provides supportive services to residents, we had a special event: the sun came out!

Seizing the moment, over a dozen volunteers from Discovery Church in Rohnert Park descended with shovels, gloves, soil and plants to make a special day even better. Together with residents, they planted fresh herbs that will turn home-cooked meals into home-cooked masterpieces.

“The whole area is so beautiful now. It’s a great place for people to enjoy a quiet, peaceful moment, and a great place for our kids to learn about plants,” says COTS’ on-site advocate Melissa Salini.

This is not the church’s first trip to Vida. Volunteers have helped in variety of ways, including providing groceries for families to provide special holiday dinners.

Mike Peterson, who is the church’s Outreach Director, says he and his fellow congregants help all around the city of Rohnert Park, and they bring their kids whenever possible. “It gives them a sense of community,” he says. “It gives them an idea of what living your faith is all about.”

Donate today to help make programs like these possible