Our Mission: We assist those experiencing homelessness to find and keep housing, increase self-sufficiency,
and improve well-being.

Our Vision: We envision a community where everyone has a place to call home.

Our Values:

Integrity: We act with reliability and honesty and take ownership of our roles.

Respect: We honor the diversity of perspectives, experiences, and the needs of everyone with
whom we interact.

Equity: We conduct our work and our interactions with others through a lens of diversity, equity,
inclusion, and belonging.

Collaboration: We foster constructive relationships within our community and among our

Celebration: We take pride in our work and applaud each person’s successes.

Outcomes: We rely on best practices to provide data-driven, client-centered services

Founded in 1988, COTS was an expression of two local residents’ concern for children and adults who were sleeping in culverts, dumpsters, or other unsafe and unsuitable conditions. Laure Reichek and Mary Isaak, along with hundreds of dedicated and compassionate volunteers, raised money from private donors, enlisted the support of the faith community and fraternal organizations, educated the larger community about homelessness, and monitored sleepovers at temporary shelters throughout the city. Their vision was to end homelessness.

Thirty-five years later, we are still engaged in this challenge with the hope of ending homelessness in Sonoma County. This challenge, however, is now more difficult and more important than ever. According to the 2022 Point in Time Count, there are some 3,000 individuals experiencing homelessness in Sonoma County.

To make COTS even stronger as a business and a social and human services organization, we must offer impactful and innovative programs that get people stably housed; have a stronger leadership presence and collaborative partnerships throughout Sonoma County; be financially sustainable to ensure we are able to do this important work for the next thirty-two years; create effective, efficient, and strategically aligned businesses processes that integrate and support our programs for those experiencing homelessness; and we must ensure that we have the right, professionally trained and compassionate staff, and a high performing culture to thrive in this ever changing and more complex environment.

There are few things more damaging to the human spirit and more harmful to an entire community than for a person of any age to experience homelessness. Homelessness is complicated and there are many reasons why a person becomes homeless. Those reasons cannot be solved by a hot shower, a warm meal, or a bed. Shelters are designed to provide only temporary safety while a person sorts out a permanent place to live. If we are to help someone, then we must address the issues that caused their homelessness, including loss of employment, physical and behavioral health challenges, childhood trauma, and lack of social supports and life skills.

Through our new Client Enrichment Program, we will offer financial literacy courses, budgeting workshops, credit repair counseling, housing search support, landlord relations training, and employment readiness services such as creating resumes, mock interviews, and preparing cover letters. Through our Pathways recovery options, we will offer recovery groups, sobriety programs, and set-aside shelter beds and housing for those who agree to maintain abstinence from substances. Because we know we cannot do this work alone, we are also strengthening our community partnerships to offer more mental health counseling, Legal Aid services, and more.

If you would like to join us, we would like to have you. Heres how:

In the meantime, you can catch up on COTS’ thirty-five year history. Or visit us on Facebook or Instagram.