Los Angeles is still 80% below its target of providing 15,000 hotel rooms to its homeless population one month after the county announced the initiative.
On April 8, Los Angeles County launched “Project Roomkey”, a state, county and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority partnership to secure hotel and motel rooms for use as temporary shelters for prevent the spread of the coronavirus during the pandemic. .
“The Roomkey project is not only about protecting those at high risk, but also about preventing the spread of the deadly virus in our communities and protecting the capacity of our fragile hospitals and health care system,” said the county.
While the goal was to secure 15,000 rooms with public and federal funding, the latest LA county press release shows that only 2,711 rooms have been secured.
“To date, we have 30 properties with 2,711 rooms that will be made available to the most vulnerable. As the rooms become operational, vulnerable residents move in every day, “said an LA county spokesperson.
On Skid Row, LA – the largest concentration of homeless people in the country – 100 coronavirus infections have been confirmed, a shelter official told CNN on Monday. The growing number of infections raises fears of an epidemic among the city’s homeless community. The county has a homeless population of around 60,000.
Mayor Eric Garcetti announced at a press conference on Monday that the city has secured a large hotel in downtown LA, providing 460 more rooms.
The county now has a total of 3,171 rooms with the new addition, which is approximately 20% of its target.
An LA county spokesperson said negotiations with hotel and motel owners are underway.
“We believe this urgent humanitarian initiative is housing more people faster than ever before in our region’s history,” said LA County in a statement.
California has reported at least 55,884 cases of coronavirus, including 2,278 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.