Los Angeles Embarks on Massive Effort to Move Homeless Residents Into Hotels Amid Coronavirus
Project Roomkey is a new initiative to get CA homeless individuals into hotel and motel rooms. However not all individuals qualify, and worse, some cities even interfere with this order.
With the homeless population being one of the most vulnerable populations within Los Angeles, there has been a movement to get these people into hotels. On April 3rd, CA Gov. Gavin Newsom announced assistance from the federal government that would help pay for at least 15,000 rooms. In addition, LA County itself has also pledged a goal of 15,000 units to help house over 60,000 people that comprise the homeless population within LA County. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti encourages hotels to continue to let the government lease, but is unafraid to take aggressive emergency action if needed.
Under Project Roomkey, hotel rooms are reserved for the “most vulnerable” of the country’s homeless population. The criteria include people over 65 or those with underlying health conditions. They also include those who are asymptomatic, or do not have symptoms, but are at high risk of hospitalization if the virus is contracted. Various teams will be visiting encampments to find people that meet the criteria. Outreach workers will be there every step of the process alongside nurses for regular health checks. The homeless population is highly vulnerable, and it’s important to make sure they get the necessary resources they need.