Following the shelter-in-place order issued by Sonoma County today, we are reaching out to our community to update you about COTS’ services and our volunteer program.

COTS’s programs and services to our clients will continue through the duration of the crisis. COTS and all homeless shelters are considered “essential” services in Sonoma County, and travel to and from COTS is protected by the order. If you read this week’s Virtual Coffee with CEO Chuck Fernandez, you know that we have implemented Virus Prevention Protocols for all staff, shelter residents, guests, and volunteers at COTS. We are committed to doing everything we can to keep our community healthy and safe while continuing our mission to get people off the streets, out of shelter, and into a permanent home.

At present, our kitchen staff are operating with a skeleton crew to meet the needs of our clients, and we are so proud of the way our COTS team members have stepped up during this time of uncertainty. We welcome volunteers who are healthy and feel comfortable prepping meals or serving our clients to continue shifts in our Mary Isaak Center kitchen. Other volunteer roles will be continued on a case-by-case basis, and if you have any questions, please reach out directly to Diana Morales at (707) 765-6530 ext. 136 or dmorales@cots.orgYou can apply to volunteer with us here.

We also understand if you are a current volunteer who feels unable to complete your shift, either out of concern for yourself or others’ health and safety. If you cannot make your shift, please let Diana know at the contact information above. Please do not volunteer—under any circumstances—if you are at high-risk for serious complications from Covid-19, if you are symptomatic, or if you believe you have been exposed to the virus.

As we wait for news in the days and weeks to come, know that we are especially grateful for our COTS family and for the profound difference our donors, volunteers, and supporters make to our programs and services. Your investment is more important now than ever, as we prepare to serve not just our current clients but those who may need our services in the months to come.

Please consider providing immediate help to our community with a tax-deductible donation today.

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We will continue to keep you updated as the situation changes day by day. Until then, thank you for the essential role you play at COTS and in the lives of those experiencing homelessness.