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The City encourages residents to respond to panhandlers with a respectful but firm “No.” All of our partner organizations as well as law enforcement concur that giving money to panhandlers does more harm than good and may support illegal activity, including drug use, while also encouraging more panhandling. Responsible options for generosity include volunteering with or donating to any of the local organizations that work to solve homelessness in our community. The best way to help is to connect individuals with resources in the community. If you see someone who is homeless and you want to help, refer them to Abode Services at 707-271-7818 – don’t call 9-1-1.
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The City directs its efforts at providing resources to those who are willing to accept help, partnering with regional organizations to address the causes of homelessness and deter unwanted behaviors. We collaborate with partner organizations to provide services and a path to self-sufficiency to those who are currently in need. We start with outreach: face-to-face dialogue to ascertain if an individual is from Napa and might have family nearby. We gather information to determine what services an individual might need and then take the appropriate steps, whether it’s a referral to Abode, a bus ticket to reconnect with family, or something else. We also provide a continual, visible, and physical presence to deter illegal activity.
The Napa Police Department works to build a rapport with clients while introducing them to the many services available in Napa County. The police work as advocates, case managers, and housing counselors to help clients find the services that will lead to long-term stable housing. This effort strengthens the community by giving those in need a hand up while working to reduce non-emergency calls to vital law enforcement and fire services in Napa County. Brandon Gardner, Napa Police Department’s homeless outreach specialist, leads the efforts within the City of Napa.
Additionally, Napa County Health & Human Services contracts with Abode Services to provide emergency shelter and outreach services, as well as manage several housing programs for residents of Napa County experiencing homelessness. Their services include emergency assistance, referral to community support services, and connection to housing interventions and landlord engagement and support. In Napa, Adobe has an outreach team of five, who are regularly out in the community proactively connecting homeless to services. Founded in Alameda County in 1989, Abode Services expanded to serve Alameda, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo and Napa counties.
Napa Police Department Outreach and Adobe Services are part of a multi-agency continuum-of-care team increasing collaboration among service providers to assist homeless clients en route to self-sufficiency.
Coming soon: List of partner agencies.
The causes of homelessness are many and complex and include large-scale socioeconomic factors as well as personal risk factors including mental illness, disability, and lack of a family or social network. Every year, during the third week of January, we do a count to determine how many homeless are in our community. Our numbers have not really increased; the homeless population has just moved to more visible areas due to the pressure of gentrification. As the riverfront has been developed, for example, the encampments along the river have had to move. We have also lost most of our short-term, residential housing in recent years. And housing prices have become prohibitive for more and more people.
Homelessness describes the condition of people without a regular dwelling and is not a criminal activity. However, when you see someone doing something illegal, you should call the police. Panhandling is not illegal, but if the panhandler is aggressive and you feel threatened, call 9-1-1 and move away from the subject. You should always call 9-1-1 if you need emergency assistance from police or fire or there is a medical emergency or an immediate threat to public safety. Additionally, the Napa Police Department will take action for theft, public consumption of alcohol, trespassing, or other disruptive behavior. These offenses are typically classified as misdemeanors.
Call PD dispatch at 707-257-9223.
Contact PD Outreach at 707-257-9479.
Contact Abode Services at 707-271-7818.
The Salvation Army of Napa, located at 590 Franklin St., offers the Neighborhood Table program, which serves a free hot lunch Monday-Friday, 11:30 am -12:30 pm and The Table, located at 1333 Third St., provides a daily nutritious meal to anyone who is hungry Monday-Friday from 3 to 4:45 pm. At other times, contact Abode Services at 707-271-7818.
Ole Health, located at 1141 Pear Tree Lane, accepts walk-ins Monday-Saturday; however, patients must call ahead to 707-254-1770. Queen of the Valley Medical Center Prompt Care, located at 1621 West Imola Ave in the River Park Shopping Center, accepts walk-ins from 10 am-8 pm daily: 707-251-4280. The CARE Network at the Queen of the Valley Medical Center provides no-cost help for low-income chronically ill: 707-251-2000.
If it’s an emergency, call 9-1-1. Otherwise, refer to Napa County Mental Health crisis line: 707-253-4711. For other concerns, contact PD Outreach at 707-257-9479.
Call PD dispatch at 707-257-9223. If you are a transitional-age youth in need of services, call V.O.I.C.E.S. 707-251-9432
If it’s an emergency situation, call 9-1-1. If the individual is not in immediate danger, you call contact PD dispatch at 707-257-9223 or refer the individual to NEWS 24-hour domestic violence and sexual abuse help line at 707-255-6397
Napa’s collaborative model has resulted in over 100 homeless individuals, including women and children, finding long-term, supportive housing and a life off the street each year, and another 70 individuals being diverted into support programs.