On-site health care limits unneeded and expensive emergency calls and keeps beneficiaries engaged on the site, Jennielynn Holmes, CEO of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, told The Press Democrat.
She predicted success in a design that incorporates many services on one site.
“Caritas will be the only facility of its kind to bring all these elements under one roof, provided by the experts in the community,” Holmes said Sept. 9. “By replicating this model, we can dramatically alleviate if not end homelessness, not only in the county, but across the state and beyond. Our organization and all of our partners are ready to share the blueprint and invite others to the table. So many cities around the country are working hard to end homelessness, and we want to link arms with others who share our mission.”
Pavik said that Catholic Charities is “motivated to serve by Gospel teaching” and “inspired by the love and teachings of Christ.”
“We serve and advocate for vulnerable people of all cultures and beliefs, prioritizing those experiencing poverty,” he said.
The facility staffers also have the necessary qualifications and training to follow best practices.
Caritas Center has the backing of $35 million in private donations, $6.9 million in funding through California New Market Tax Credits, and $11.5 million from Project Homekey, California state government grants for housing that serves the homeless.
The Day 1 Families Fund, a project of Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos, gave an additional $5 million to support both family program operations and innovation at the Caritas Center. Other backers include Tipping Point Community, Providence Health System, and Kaiser Permanente.
The Caritas Center is part of a planned Caritas Village, which will incorporate affordable housing and other options for people at risk.
Caritas Homes, next door to the homelessness service center, is a planned apartment complex of 128 affordable homes being built in partnership with Burbank Housing, an affordable housing construction and management nonprofit. These apartments aim to serve unmarried workers, vulnerable seniors, veterans, and families whose incomes cannot keep up with rent. There are 64 apartments presently under construction.
Including Caritas Center, Caritas Village is expected to cost $120 million or more.
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Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa helps about 20,000 people per year. Its work in five northern California counties helps beneficiaries find housing, achieve financial stability, and progress on immigration hurdles they might face.