Oakmont’s Los Guilicos Shelter Committee says they have received assurances from county elected officials that the level of services at Los Guilicos Village (LGV) will not be reduced in the coming months as they address alternate locations for the sanctioned homeless shelter.
Susan Chauncy, who chairs the Shelter Committee, reported to the OVA Board July 21 that the committee is working collaboratively with the Los Guilicos Advisory Council, a development that has enhanced the ability to monitor operations and supervisors’ decisions.
LGV was set to close on April 30, but the deadline was extended, in part because of the pandemic and the need for beds. Recent reports that supervisors intended to make facility permanent drew protests from Oakmont and neighboring communities. On July 7, the Board of Supervisors voted 4 to 1 with Gorin opposing to continue to operate LGV indefinitely until an alternate location is secured.
Chauncy said Supervisor Susan Gorin has said no reduction in security or transportation services is planned, and Gorin has asked Barbie Robinson, interim director of Sonoma County health services, to confirm continuation of services.
“(To cut services) would change the entire model,” Chauncy said. “We have every reason to believe that services will not change, and we will continue to interface with the supervisors and with Jack Tibbetts to monitor operations. Tibbetts, who is a Santa Rosa City councilman, is the executive director of St. Vincent DePaul, which runs LGV.
Chauncy told the OVA Board that “other shelter locations have been identified and that Supervisor Gorin is working with the mayor of Sonoma to identify a location for a small shelter.
She said while there have been no verified problems in Oakmont associated with LGV residents, the committee remains “concerned not only about the safety of our community and the risk of fires, but also about the residents of LGV and their ability to be provided with the housing, employment and mental health services that are needed for them to transition to stability.”
Tibbetts reported to the committee that the LGV residents have been doing vegetation management, and shuttle services are very limited and that the behavior of the residents is an ongoing, but manageable concern during these hot days of summer, Chancy told the board. He also said 16 senior individuals had been moved to LGV from Sonoma State, and he has suggested to supervisors that it might be “prudent to continue to transition the demographic of LGV to an older population. This would make the daily management less challenging in many ways and hopefully provide some comfort to the residents of Oakmont and surrounding areas.”