Vulnerable homeless people moved to hotels amid coronavirus pandemic
Thousands of vulnerable homeless people across the U.S. are being moved to hotels to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus among shelters.
More than 100 medically vulnerable or older homeless people have been provided with hotel rooms to protect them in Salem, Ore., the Statesman Journal reported Monday.
The Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency says it has placed 113 homeless people across six hotels. The agency is paying for the stays, delivering food to those involved and checking on them daily, according to the newspaper.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Saturday that a total of 6,000 single homeless adults will be transferred to hotels as of next Monday. There are already 3,500 single homeless people in commercial hotels, NY1 reported.
“Those who will be prioritized across our shelter system for transfer to hotels will include seniors, will include, of course, anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or who tested positive will be isolated in hotel setting, and anybody in shelters where it’s been difficult to achieve social distancing,” de Blasio reportedly said at a news conference.
In California, 7,000 hotel rooms have been secured for the homeless, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced earlier this month. Newsom said the state is looking to lease 15,000 rooms as part of what he has deemed “Project Roomkey.”
The project will target hotels in counties with significant homeless populations that are also experiencing high concentrations of COVID-19 cases.
Each hotel or motel in Project Roomkey will include essential services including laundry, security and support staff. Chef José Andrés’s organization World Central Kitchen will provide three meals a day to select hotels in the project to support local efforts as needed.
King County, Washington, announced earlier this month that nearly 400 people had been transferred to hotels as temporary shelters in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus through homeless shelters.
King County said it negotiated with three local hotels to serve as temporary shelters; the hotels will not be open to other guests during this time.
Across the U.S., there are more than 558,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 22,154 deaths, based on data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.