California books 15,000 hotel rooms for homeless during coronavirus outbreak
Motel 6 will open up about 5,000 rooms for homeless people in California.(Google Maps/Google Maps)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has found homes for the homeless after all, at least during the coronavirus pandemic.
Newsom announced Saturday that the state has booked almost 15,000 hotel rooms to shelter homeless people, part of what he dubbed Project Roomkey.
Motel 6 has offered about 5,025 rooms in 47 motels across 19 California counties, bringing the total to more than 15,000.
So far, 4,211 people have taken up the offer, Newsom said, or a 38% occupancy rate.
Project Roomkey prioritized the most vulnerable, including homeless people over 65 or with preexisting health conditions, and those who have tested positive for or been exposed to coronavirus but do not require hospitalization, according to Newsom’s office.
Chef José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen is providing three meals a day to “select Project Roomkey hotels."
But still, Newsom said, some cities are pushing back against the plan, which he referred to as NIMBYism, or “not in my backyard.”
“Cities are blocking these efforts at a time of crisis,” he said Saturday, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Cities that are blocking those efforts — please consider the morality of those decisions.”
As of the state Department of Health’s latest update, 28,963 people in California have tested positive for coronavirus so far. Of those, 1,072 have died.