Home>Articles>Nearly 16,000 Hotel Rooms Secured For Homeless, Surpassing Goal for ‘Project Roomkey’

Governor Gavin Newsom announcing Project Roomkey figures in Campbell on April 18, 2020. (Photo: Youtube)

Nearly 16,000 Hotel Rooms Secured For Homeless, Surpassing Goal for ‘Project Roomkey’

Over 4,200 homeless are currently housed by state in hotel rooms

By Evan Symon, April 19, 2020 2:26 am

On Saturday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that Project Roomkey, the statewide effort to secure hotel rooms to be used by the homeless temporarily to keep COVID-19 coronavirus social distancing standards, had surpassed it’s goal of 15,000 hotel rooms across the state.

Newsom said that just under 11,000 had already been secured by the state. But he added that a new deal being finalized with Motel 6 to add another 5,025 rooms would push them past that mark.

“They are setting aside, as part of a master agreement template, some 47 Motel 6’s like this in 19 counties in the state of California,” announced Newsom at the press conference outside a Motel 6 in Campbell.

Newsom announced Project Roomkey in early April. Homeless began moving into rooms just over a week ago. So far 4,211 have moved into hotel rooms across the state, with 38% of all rooms currently being filled.

Project Roomkey allows homeless people to receive a hotel room and 3 meals a day free of charge but only on a temporary basis. California officials have said that since homeless people are more vulnerable, cannot shelter in place, and would be more susceptible to the virus due to close living quarters both inside and outside of shelters without intervention. While all homeless people are being considered, those with coronavirus, those who are easily exposed to the virus, those with poor immune systems and other medical conditions that make them more susceptible, and the elderly are to be considered first.

Newsom has also been continuing to secure partnerships across California for his project.

“We’ve had amazing partnerships not only with Santa Clara County, but Yolo County, Merced County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County and Ventura County,” explained Newsom. “And there’s a reason I mention those counties. They have simply done more than all of the other counties to really support this effort.”

Newsom also added that these county partnerships, as well as the partnership with Motel 6, would lead to longer-term homeless solutions both during and after the coronavirus.

“It make it much easier beyond this pandemic to potentially consider these sites as a broader portfolio to provide some more permanency for those most in need in the state of California,” said Newsom.

This has been met by some criticism.

“They’re testing it right now to see if using Motels as a longer-term shelter can help solve the homeless crisis,” noted housing advocate Mina Ochoa. “If they can give them rooms for cheap, kind-of how poorer people pay weekly to live in motels now, they might become de facto shelters.

I don’t know how this would work or how it would be paid for, because you can be certain that a lot of taxpayers and politicians would take issue with it, but it could become a viable solution if it turns out to be more cost-effective than current shelters.

There’s many factors such as price, location, and damages that make it more expensive, but they’re testing the waters right now. We’ll see.”

Thousands of more rooms are expected to be filled this coming week.

To date California has had 28,963 confirmed coronavirus antibodies cases, with 1,072 deaths,  according to the California Department of Public Health.

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20 thoughts on “Nearly 16,000 Hotel Rooms Secured For Homeless, Surpassing Goal for ‘Project Roomkey’

    1. Just a question here: How do you access the internet when you are homeless and the public libraries are closed and places with WiFi are closed ?

  1. “Project Roomkey” is costing us A LOT as it accomplishes little to nothing. As another commenter here excerpted from a recent SF Chronicle article, the SAN FRANCISCO hotel rentals ALONE are costing a tidy sum of $58.6 MILLION a MONTH. And it’s not as though everyone on the streets of that city is being housed from it — just a few out of the many as one would expect. As we know, many refuse to go inside, for one thing. So it’s a token effort, as usual. The usual suspects want to be able to say they did SOMETHING.
    What a MESS.

  2. Nothing in this article covers how these hotels are being reimbursed for all the cleaning, utilities, linen, and meals! Yes, taxpayers will have issues about this. Were the hotels forced? What does temporary mean? How are the homeless housing curtailed? Normally I appreciate the reporting of California Globe, but this one has so many holes in it, Evan missed the boat. BTW it might have been ok if Evan said more details are being sought but authorities (which authorities) are not forthcoming. This article doesn’t really tell you anything.

  3. A recent comment from L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin revealed that what the Dem politicians have in mind for the long haul is to pick up distressed properties for low prices — you know, the hotels, apartment houses, and single family homes that will have become distressed due to owners not being able to have paying guests, collect rent, or pay mortgages, a situation caused by the Democrat politicians themselves — and use such properties for homeless housing and “affordable housing.” And they plan to use Federal funds to do it! Uh…. is this completely and absolutely outrageous or am I just a stick-in-the-mud who can’t adapt to the new reality? (That was sarcasm) 🙂
    Will try to find an article or audio that contains what Mike Bonin said.

  4. Edward Ring predicted a lot of this… and MORE. On to the next step soon, I guess. Proclaiming the areas “blighted,” sold for a song to wealthy developers, beachfront luxury hotels and condos built…

  5. I am a 65yr.old female with medical issues. I need help with a Motel Voucher. I have been scrapping up daily to pay. For the Motel rooms. I don’t have that kind of money. I am on Social Security. Please help me!

  6. We are a veteran/wife homeless in Riverside CA 92507 we have ask for help we can’t get no one to follow through . We ask for a motel voucher but don’t qualify. So can we apply for Project Roomkey . If you have any suggestions please responde. Thank you Robert Taylor/Lana Welles

  7. (08 May 2020) I am a 68-year old living in a Motel 6, until my savings run out in two days. Then I must choose between the safety of sheltering in place or buying food. That’s the choice I must make. I have heart and lung diseases which make me a target for the covid virus. What became of Governor Newsom’s Project Roomkey for this county (Kern)? Will I stay virus-free in a homeless shelter (assuming there is space in any shelter)? Will the summer heat overwhelm me…? Or will the virus get me first?

  8. I recently was evicted from my apartment after being houses 15 months through Rapid Re Housing program. Three weeks after signing my lease we were shelter in place do to covid- 19. I asked, begged to receive a referral to other programs, but was told it was not their job. Prior to the pandemic I completed the paperwork for my program , including my medical history. I had a splenectomy do to a car accident many years ago. At the time of entering the program it was not an issue. These people at this organization had no concern what my health issues were. Now, I am recently diagnosed with cancer and cannot get anyone to help. So, these people set me up for failure and now I have to die from cancer back at the creek. REALLY! THIS ORGANIZATION SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED FOR SURE.

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