California has secured 15,000 hotel rooms for homeless people

Published on : Monday, April 20, 2020

The Gov. Gavin Newsom said that California has acquired right now over 15,000 hotel rooms to shelter homeless people during the coronavirus  or COVID 19 pandemic.

Newsom said a new agreement with the Motel 6 hotel chain will provide an additional 5,025 hotel rooms at 47 locations in 19 counties.



The governor said that this marks an important milestone for our efforts to protect very vulnerable homeless individuals from COVID-19, and to protect  their hospitals more broadly from surges that challenge the capacity and stress the system.



Newsom made the announcement outside a Motel 6 in San Jose, where he touted his “Project Roomkey” initiative introduced two weeks ago.



The federal government has agreed to pay 75 percent of costs associated with housing some people experiencing homelessness. The project covers people who test positive or may have been exposed to COVID-19, older homeless people and those with underlying health conditions.



Participating counties are responsible for identifying which individuals need a Project Roomkey placement, and then moving those individuals into the rooms. While praising municipalities that have stepped in to find temporary housing for the homeless, Newsom said Saturday there were “equivalent number of cities” that are blocking efforts to help the homeless. He wouldn’t name them.



Please consider the morality of those decisions. Consider the moment we’re in and the ethical question you’re being called and asked upon. Consider your station in life and in history,” the governor said. All of us will be judged.


Los Angeles County prosecutors requested an emergency hearing with a federal judge Friday, alleging the cities of Lawndale and Bell Gardens threatened to terminate city permits for hotels and motels participating in the program.


Laguna Hills in Orange County is also pushing back against plans to move homeless people into a hotel, the Orange County Register reported Thursday.


The city filed a lawsuit on Tuesday claiming the county’s plan “poses a direct threat to the health and safety of the surrounding community.


An attorney representing the city and building owners said there was concern the facility could not be secured which could increase the threat of community spread of the virus.


“If they want to walk out onto the streets, they have the civil rights to do so, just like the rest of of others, Kelly Richardson told.

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