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Santa Rosa City Council weighs relocation of homeless shelter

The Santa Rosa City Council on Tuesday will discuss using the former Bennett Valley Senior Center as a safe haven and a short-term Navigation Center with shelter beds and homeless services while the roof is replaced on the Samuel L. Jones Hall homeless shelter.

The City Council in August approved closing the Bennett Valley Senior Center and consolidating its senior services in the Person Senior Wing of the Steele Lane Community Center in Santa Rosa.

The cost of replacing the roof of the Samuel L. Jones Hall was estimated at $1.6 million in 2017 and the cost is not final. The cost of activating the Navigation Center in the former Bennett Valley Senior Center is estimated at $2 million. The city has applied for $3.6 million from the state Homeless Emergency Aid Program for the Samuel L. Jones Hall roof and the Navigation Center in the former Bennett Valley Senior Center. City staff members have recommended relocating 40 beds from Samuel L. Jones Hall to the Navigation Center in the summer and expanding it to include temporary structures in the parking lot that would provide up to 20 beds in the fall.

Catholic Charities would operate the Navigation Center, and the plan depends on the final cost of the Samuel L. Jones Hall roof. The City Council’s discussion will take place in a study session and the council might not take formal action Tuesday.

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