Gov. Gavin Newsom says 'Project Roomkey' aims to protect the homeless from COVID-19

Governor Gavin Newsom announced Friday, "Project Roomkey," an initiative to secure hotel and motel rooms in order to protect homeless individuals from coronavirus.

Posted: Apr 3, 2020 1:05 PM

CALIFORNIA – Governor Gavin Newsom announced Friday, "Project Roomkey," an initiative to secure hotel and motel rooms in order to protect homeless individuals from coronavirus.

This makes California the first state in the nation to secure FEMA approval to provide safe isolation capacity for tens of thousands of homeless people in the state, to protect them and others from coronavirus.

Project Roomkey, has set an initial goal of securing up to 15,000 rooms for this purpose and county partners have moved 869 homeless individuals off the street, out of shelters, and into isolation, the governor said Friday.

Gov. Newsom said this project means state and local governments will receive up to 75% cost-share reimbursement from FEMA for hotel and motel rooms, including wraparound supports such as meals, security, and custodial services. Behavioral health and health care services will also be provided by the local governments and community partners, as needed.

“Homeless Californians are incredibly vulnerable to COVID-19 and often have no option to self-isolate or social distance,” said Governor Newsom. “By helping the most vulnerable homeless individuals off the street and into isolation, California can slow the spread of COVID-19 through homeless populations, lower the number of people infected and protect critical health care resources. We’re working hard with our county partners to get these hotels up and running as rapidly as possible.”

The governor also announced a partnership with Chef José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen, which will provide three meals a day to select Project Roomkey hotels through a statewide contract to support local efforts as needed.

The local governments are responsible for identifying which shelter clients or encampment residents are selected for these hotel isolation placements and transporting them to the hotels for intake, Newsom said.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 119348

Reported Deaths: 4374
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles582612489
Riverside8155342
San Diego7674276
Orange6678158
San Bernardino5650209
Alameda354897
Santa Clara2832144
San Francisco261343
Kern241840
San Mateo221284
Tulare202690
Imperial202529
Fresno191437
Santa Barbara169714
Contra Costa151338
Sacramento146358
Kings11686
Ventura116434
San Joaquin108035
Stanislaus76730
Monterey58610
Sonoma5794
Solano54722
Marin50617
Merced3107
San Luis Obispo2791
Placer2409
Santa Cruz2192
Yolo21324
Napa1243
Madera1173
Humboldt1034
El Dorado960
San Benito902
Butte551
Nevada481
Del Norte470
Sutter462
Shasta404
Mono371
Yuba311
Mendocino300
Lake300
Inyo201
Glenn170
Mariposa161
Calaveras150
Amador100
Siskiyou90
Colusa70
Tehama61
Lassen50
Plumas40
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