Santa Rosa's homeless make room for others displaced by fire

Darla Anderson says she's been homeless in Santa Rosa for months. She says since the firestorm she's noticed a difference.
    
"I sleep in the park every night. There's like 25 people around me," said Anderson.
    
And before?
    
"There were only one or two."

Housing advocates in Santa Rosa say the population of this homeless encampment on Sixth Street under a freeway overpass has grown to about 75 residents, because the fire claimed other smaller tent cities and people who were living there have gravitated to other camps.

Before the fire, city officials were working toward moving people out of Sixth Street.

"There's a growing feeling of despair and hopelessness a little bit. There was already a big struggle to get housing. And now it will be even harder," said Jennielynn Holmes of Catholic Charities of Sonoma County.

Holmes heads the homeless services program for Catholic Charities, the largest homeless service provider in Sonoma County. 

She says a big priority are people who had housing, but were on the edge of homelessness. 

"People who are low income, undocumented, individuals doubled and tripled up in houses, then the fire came," said Holmes.
    
Housing officials say they expect to see higher incme people looking for rental units which will force lower income out, with nowhere else to go.
    
"We're going to see people entering homelessness for the first time. I think it is going to happen quicker than the foreclosure crisis," said Holmes. 

Anderson says that while she wasn't directly affected by the fire. But she says she and many others like her are affected, indirectly. 
    
She says it’s been even more difficult to get help.

"That leaves me right where I’m at, with nothing," said Anderson.
 

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