Sacramento, California: The government of California has announced an initiative to place all the homeless people in hotel and motel rooms.
The new initiative was announced by California Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday.
The initiative is in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA and California counties have identified 6,867 rooms that are now in state possession.
Authorities are now looking to identify up to 15,000 rooms in total so they could place all the homeless in hotel rooms and motel rooms.
The “Project Roomkey” initiative is the first of its kind in the United States of America.
The initiative will reimburse state and local governments up to 75 percent of the costs of the rooms, including services such as meals and security and custodial services for the next 3 months.
Along with the rooms, the homeless will be given essential behavioral health and health care services.
The homeless will be given these services for 3 months.
Governor Newsom released a statement about the new initiative on Friday.
The statement said:
“Homeless Californians are incredibly vulnerable to COVID-19 and often have no option to self-isolate or social distance. By helping the most vulnerable homeless individuals off the street and into isolation, California can slow the spread of COVID-19 through homeless populations, lower the number of people infected and protect critical health care resources.”
However, advocates for the homeless were frustrated.
Governor Newsom said 2 weeks ago that California would quickly move to get more than 50,000 hotel rooms.
The 7000 rooms that the state now has is already providing house to around 900 people.
As of writing this article, there are around 150,000 homeless people in the state of California.
The hotel and motel rooms will be reserved for extremely individuals that are experiencing homelessness.
Health officials around the state are seeking to flatten the curve and preserve hospital capacity.
Governor Newsom added:
“We had a number of counties in the last days that have reported incidences of positive test results [among the homeless] in counties large and small, including San Francisco, but other counties in L.A. that have shown at least a dozen, in fact 14 in our last count. By the way, that’s an under count, we know. That’s just what has been reported to us.”
As per the food that the homeless will be eating, Governor Newsom said Chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen will be providing meals to some of the homeless people that will be living inside the hotels and rooms.