Newsom announces partnership with FEMA to find shelter for most vulnerable homeless populations

Newsom announces partnership with FEMA to find shelter for most vulnerable homeless populations
© getty

Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia Gov. Newsom calls for statewide use-of-force standard Watch live: California Gov. Newsom holds press conference amid George Floyd protests Chief Justice Roberts wisely defers to California governor in church challenge  MORE (D) announced that California is partnering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to find shelter for the state’s most vulnerable homeless residents.

Newsom said in a tweet that he and FEMA have identified “15,000 hotel/motel rooms to help house our most vulnerable homeless population” in what he said was a “first in the nation effort.” 

“Homelessness is a crisis that predates the current crisis. We're doing everything we can to meet it head-on,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Newsom, whose state has the nation's largest homeless population of more than 150,000 people, has already allocated $150 million to local governments to help move homeless people into shelters. Another $50 million in state funds will be dedicated to buying travel trailers and renting hotel rooms to serve as temporary shelters.

“People experiencing homelessness are among the most vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19,” Newsom told reporters last month. “Helping these residents is critical to protecting public health, flattening the curve and slowing the spread of COVID-19.”

The efforts come as the homeless find themselves particularly susceptible to contracting and spreading the coronavirus.

California has had more than 11,300 confirmed coronavirus cases, and 253 people have died in the state.