Are you homeless in Rohnert Park?

Are you homeless and looking for housing? Do you live in Sonoma County?

Fill out an application to see if you qualify for Rapid Re-Housing. After you submit this form, a COTS staff member will be in touch with you via email within a week.

APPLY HERE

Need help? Call (707) 765-6530 (option 1) or visit the Laure Reichek Housing Hub at 575 W. College Avenue in Santa Rosa, M - F 9am - noon.


We can help with

  • Security deposits
  • Case management
  • Housing search and location
  • Rent payments

Calling all landlords!

If you are a landlord and are interested in partnering with us, contact our Housing Team at housing@cots.org or 707-765-6530 x 110.

 

Funding for this program has been provided by the City of Rohnert Park. COTS is a service provider contracting with the city to offer this service to Rohnert Park residents and those homeless in the City of Rohnert Park.


COTS Hour 2018

Join us for the annual COTS Hour, a fundraising breakfast benefiting homeless families, veterans and adults in Sonoma County.

NOVEMBER 13TH, 2018

7:30am Registration | 8:00am – 9:00am Program

New location: the DoubleTree Inn
1 DoubleTree Drive, Rohnert Park, CA

Register below, or call Eileen Morris: 707.765.6530 x128

How many guests (including you) will be in attendance?
If none, please type N/A

Thank you to our COTS Hour Sponsors!


After the fires - one year later

One year after the October 8 fires, our community wakes up to reflection.

It may be coupled with grief, perhaps anger, even frustration. Some of us may feel hopeful and grateful; others of us find ourselves lost in our memories, or perhaps finding ways to avoid them. 

There’s no shaking it: it’s been a hard year. It’s been physically hard, as many of us performed physical, manual labor to clean, sort, and physically care for others. And it’s been emotionally hard, as we pieced together our lives and supported our friends and neighbors to piece together theirs.

Alongside all of you, COTS and our sister agencies throughout Sonoma County, have coordinated resources, raised funds for the long haul, and established new programs to address the community’s expected need. We are slowly learning about the longer-term impacts, with 21,000 people reported to be precariously housed.

Today, I am filled with gratitude for the help you’ve given that has allowed us to double down on our efforts to make this community whole. Because of you, COTS opened the Laure Reichek Housing Hub in Santa Rosa that has, since July, housed 60 individuals. We continue to provide shelter for hundreds of people who need it, and permanent housing for hundreds more families and adults confronted with desperation. More than housing, each person we engage feels heard and supported by people who care. We watch mothers’ faces relax when they step into our offices and are offered a glass of water, a snack, and practical solutions. 

We continue to gather strength from all of you; from your generosity, your patience with each other, and the love you share every single day.

COTS remains a proud partner to our community -- today, tomorrow, and always.

Judy Tuhtan, COTS Board President


Together, we are making strides

Thank you to everyone who came out in July to celebrate and support the opening of the Laure Reichek Housing Hub in Santa Rosa to serve families and individuals impacted by last year's fires. In our first eight weeks of operation, we’ve housed 49 people, providing them with move-in assistance and time-limited rental assistance to give them a chance to get back on their feet.

Thanks to you, we’re ready to help at least 523 more people.

Support for this effort comes from The Tipping Point Community Emergency Relief Fund, the North Bay Fire Relief Fund, the County of Sonoma and many individuals, community groups and businesses.


New CEO Announced

We’re pleased to announce that Chuck Fernandez will join COTS as our new CEO. The former leader of Catholic Charities in Santa Rosa and in the East Bay, Chuck has a wealth of experience in nonprofit management and in providing compassionate, effective assistance to those experiencing homelessness. We can’t wait for you to meet him at The COTS Hour on November 13.

 


Don’t Hurry to your House. Stop by the Hen House!

We all deserve some TLC on a Monday afternoon, so mark your calendars for this Monday and swing by HenHouse Brewing Company. Thank you, Hen House Brewing, for your partnership on this event!

When: Monday, September 24, 2018 from 2pm - 9pm
Where: Hen House Brewing Company, 1333 North McDowell Blvd Petaluma
What: You’ll be supporting COTS while you relax in HenHouse’s light and airy tasting room. Come ready to win big, too. We’ll be raffling off beautiful prizes, including a one-of-a-kind quilt made by the Petaluma Quilters, an intimate tasting event at Balletto Vineyards, and a hand-crafted lamp, made by our staff member Robert Carson.


Dream Dining for COTS

Would you pay $20 for the chance to dine at Petaluma’s tastiest restaurants all year long?  Here's your chance!

Thanks to the folks at Century 21 Bundesen and a plethora of local restaurants, you can buy a raffle ticket for dining packages valued at $2400, $450 and $300.  For a full list of prizes and to find out how to purchase tickets, visit 12nightsofdining.com

We can’t thank the restaurant owners and Century 21 Bundesen enough for their contributions. Bundesen has always been a huge COTS supporter, but this is the firm’s largest effort for us ever.  All of the proceeds from the raffle go to COTS.


Warren and COTS co-founder Laure Reichek at the COTS 30th Birthday party.

Hooray for Warren Theuret!

We say a tough farewell, indeed, to our colleague Warren Theuret, who has kept our many facilities in good repair for over a decade. Nothing was too small or too large a job for Warren. He pulled toy cars out of drains, demolished walls, installed solar panels, pulled weeds, re-wired whole houses, installed bathrooms, deep cleaned, de-cluttered, and delivered on every promise he ever made. His final project before retiring is the ambitious remodel of the Mary Isaak Center second floor, which will soon house the medically fragile.

Special thanks to Warren for being a great colleague to his fellow staff members and an inspiration to our clients. Warren came to COTS in 2005 as a resident, and he mentored many people as they turned their lives around.

Read more about Warren's story.


Rapid Re-Housing

Are you homeless and looking for housing? Do you live in Sonoma County?

Fill out an application to see if you qualify for Rapid Re-Housing. After you submit this form, a COTS staff member will be in touch with you via email within a week.

APPLY HERE

Need help? Call (707) 765-6530 (option 1) or visit the Laure Reichek Housing Hub at 575 W. College Avenue in Santa Rosa, M - F 9am - noon.


We can help with

  • Security deposits
  • Case management
  • Housing search and location
  • Rent payments

Calling all landlords!

If you are a landlord and are interested in partnering with us, contact our Housing Team at housing@cots.org or 707-765-6530 x 110.


Corporate and Foundation Supporters

Photo: Amy's Kitchen donates 1,000 cans of soup to COTS as part of their #NoTurkeyTalkathon in 2016.

We couldn't do our work without the support of generous businesses, large and small, and foundations in our area. They are listed below. To join our growing list, please contact us at 707-765-6530 or email development@cots.org.

Businesses and Corporate

Amy’s Kitchen

Bank of Marin

Basin Street Properties

Bergin Screen

Cal West Rentals

Century 21 Bundesen

Clover Sonoma

Encore Events

Exchange Bank

Fishman Supply

Friedman’s Home Improvement

Gabbert Acoustical

Kaiser Permanente

Lagunitas

Pacific Union Real Estate

Petaluma Health Care District

Petaluma Market

Petaluma Poultry

Poppy Bank

Redwood Credit Union

Reed’s Trailer Sales

Sauced

Sonoma Clean Power

St. Joseph Health

W. Bradley Electric, Inc.

Foundations

Ernest L. and Ruth W. Finley Foundation

Tipping Point Community

Redwood Credit Union Community Fund

Hazen Family Foundation

Community Foundation Sonoma County

Jonas Family Foundation

Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation

St. Joseph Health - Community Benefit Fund

St. Joseph Health - Community Partnership Fund

George H. Sandy Foundation

Ms. Nancy Shepard

Bear Gulch Foundation

Bethlehem Foundation

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

GreaterGood.org

Harrison Mecham Relief Fund

Bank of America Charitable Foundation

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend

Speedway Children's Charities

American River Bank Foundation

Kansha Foundation

TJX Foundation

Heffernan Foundation

In-N-Out Burger Foundation

Pinpoint Foundation

Safeway Foundation

Westamerica Bank

Appleby Foundation

Welfare League of Sonoma County


Come Hop! Come Dine! Come Relax and Unwind!

Lagunitas opens its garden to benefit COTS in this special community fundraising event.

When:  Tuesday, April 24 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Lagunitas, 1280 North McDowell Blvd. in Petaluma
Tickets:  SOLD OUT. No tickets will be sold at the door.

Join us for Louisiana-inspired jazz and blues from Spike’s Awesome Hotcakes, a meal to remember (save room for dessert from Three Twins and Supreme Sweets), and fun activities for kids.

Gifts are rolling in for the silent auction and raffle. Do you like wine? Live theater and music? Petaluma’s finest restaurants? Spa treatments? Travel? Tattoos? Delicious food? Disneyland? If so, come ready to find a bargain.

If you have further questions, contact Eileen Morris, Manager of Community Engagement at COTS on 707.765.6530 x 128 or emorris@cots.org

Some of the generous donors to the silent auction and raffle include:


Laure Reichek Housing Hub

Apply here for assistance  | Make a donation online

FAQ

What’s the background of the Laure Reichek Housing Hub?

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


Our hats off to Bill Baseman

Corporal Bill Baseman retires from the Petaluma Police Department on Friday. We couldn’t let him leave the force without thanking him for his service to the community and our clients.

Corporal Baseman has been instrumental in almost every partnership we have in Petaluma and the county. He convened the first mental health committee, bringing together resources and know-how from healthcare, emergency services, law enforcement and mental health.

“We knew we all had shared priorities, but through conversation and collaborative baby steps, we were able to build the trust that ultimately led to big partnerships to serve our clients and the community as a whole,” our CEO Mike Johnson said this morning.

A guitarist, Corporal Baseman sees the relationship this way: “We’re like Mick and Keith,” he says. “We’re good alone, but we’re even better together.”

Our clients aren’t necessarily aware of Corporal Baseman’s “big picture” approach, Mike said. They know him a different way. 

Mike was able to share a story from a former client, one of many who credit Corporal Baseman with helping them change their lives for the better.

“Ben” was causing a ruckus in a shopping center several years ago. “Instead of handcuffing me, Corporal Baseman sat down and had a talk with me.  He talked with me about my future. He encouraged me. That was the last time I drank. I came to the Mary Isaak Center, which he had recommended I do.” Ben is now working and renting his own place. “I think about him [Corporal Baseman] all the time when I think about sobriety, when I think about the police. I really feel that he helped me out a lot. I really appreciate what he did for me.”

Corporal Baseman told us he often feels a kinship with our clients. “There’s a hundred souls down there [at the Mary Isaak Center shelter] who are working every single day to get their lives together, just like we have cops out on the street every day who are just working and doing great things. And it’s unfortunate in this society that all it takes is one—whether it’s a person who chooses to go act out at six in the morning in front of 7-11, or the cop who goes off the rails and does something stupid. We both have that in common. There’s so many great things that are happening every single day, but it’s easy to want to say ‘All these people are this way.’

Thank you, Corporal Baseman!


Top 10 Moments in 2017

10. Integrity House landlords are our local heroes.

Pam Rosen is one of eight Integrity House program landlords who partner with COTS to ensure cost-effective and decent housing is available to COTS families, kids, and formerly homeless adults.

9. Mary Isaak Center shelter clients come together to make a $60 donation to the children at COTS.

8. High School Freshmen are surprised by what they see on a tour of our shelter.

See what they had to say:

7. COTS Holiday Free Store serves 351 families (including fire survivors) with over 1,200 gifts.

6. Outreach Specialist Randy Clay is honored as the Petaluma Health Care District 2017 Health Hero, for his work with the Petaluma Sober Circle.

5. 6-year old advocate donates her birthday to COTS.

Nalani Cantor celebrated her sixth birthday and asked for food and clothes for local homeless families instead of gifts. Karen Evans, Volunteer Coordinator, met with Nalani to thank her personally on behalf of our clients.

4. Our kids attend camp for the first time.

One of our kids, 10 years old, had never been to camp and he was hesitant to attend. His mom made him go anyway. He spent a week at the Pt. Reyes National Seashore Summer Camp and the first thing he asked when he got back was, “Can I go again”? It happened he could, and he did.

3. A former client increases his credit and his confidence.

A former client wrote: “Redwood Credit Union ran my credit report so they could get my score. My score last year was 565 and now it is 700!” RCU was able to significantly reduce his interest rates on his car loan and his credit card. “I just want to say thank you for the things you have taught me about credit. I'm finally getting my life in order financially. I owe it all to COTS!”

2. Steve survives cancer and finds housing.

"I worked hard to make it happen," he said, "but I had always worked hard. COTS helped me focus my work and make it count.”

1. We discover our theme song: I didn’t bring you here to fail. And we mean it.