Pest Control Begins as Search for New Encampment Site Narrows

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County officials began rat control operations along the Joe Rodota Trail today, where a homeless encampment that is home to more than 200 people continues to spark emotions.

The rats will be trapped and baited to reduce breeding.  Toxic controls were ruled out due to the danger to the people currently living along the trail.

Meanwhile, the search continues for a temporary site that will move trail campers off the popular hiking and cycling trail, and at the same time provide services like running weather, sanitation, and mental and physical health assistance.

At a stakeholders meeting on Friday, dozens of city and county officials, trail volunteers, and homeless residents came together to brainstorm ideas for shelter design, services, and operation.\

Just before Christmas Sonoma County Supervisors agreed to spend nearly 12 million dollars to purchase or lease sites for long term housing, but also provide around 2 million dollars for a short term shelter.

The county would not discuss potential sites at the meeting, only saying that they are narrowing the list of locations on county property where a camp could be located.  That caused frustration for many who say that information is key to determining which housing model will work.

Many also pushed for a quicker timeline than the 60-180 days that county officials say it may take to establish a indoor-outdoor site that will replace the Joe Rodota Trail site.



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