State launches Project Homekey initiative, $600 million dollars in funding available to local governments

Project Roomkey was California’s plan of putting homeless showing signs of coronavirus into hotels. The state now looking to make the transition to shelter permanent through Project Homekey.

Posted: Jul 22, 2020 6:08 PM
Updated: Jul 22, 2020 6:19 PM

CALIFORNIA - Project Roomkey was California’s plan of putting homeless showing signs of coronavirus into hotels. The state now looking to make the transition to shelter permanent through Project Homekey.

The state is offering $600 million dollars in grants to cities and counties to help the homeless find permanent housing during the pandemic. The state set aside $17 million dollars for smaller areas like Shasta County.

“We definitely are aware of it and we have a team looking into it,” said Matt Pontes, County Executive Officer for Shasta County.

Back in June, the state launched Project Roomkey, which gave homeless people a place to stay during the pandemic.

“Project Roomkey has been very helpful,” said Donnell Ewert the director of the Shasta Health and Human Services Agency.

“We've been able to use it for several purposes, one is to isolate and quarantine homeless individuals.”

But the coronavirus keeps coming and the homeless population still remains at high risk.

“I think it's important that they can become separated,” said Bob Cyphers of Fremont.

The California Department of Housing and Community development is overseeing Project Homekey. The department says it will be the largest housing expansion to help people who are homeless and vulnerable.

People tell Action News Now they're all for a permanent solution but want to see more done, which can help them get back on their feet.

“A stable housing situation is great,” said Kathi Cyphers from Fremont. “But I would like a component of teaching them skills so that get themselves out of homelessness.”

“With COVID-19 it’s very uncertain and a lot of people have a lot of anxiousness and fear,” said Justin Wandro, Development Director with the Good News Rescue Mission.

“Having somewhere that's their home, and having a place for them will go a long way to helping them overcome that anxiety.”

Of the $600 million, $550 million comes from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, while the other $50 million comes from the state’s general fund.

Shasta County received close to $400,000 dollars in Project Roomkey funding.

Click here to learn more about Project Homekey.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 530606

Reported Deaths: 9808
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1981654827
Riverside38487738
Orange38131665
San Bernardino34237487
San Diego30516568
Kern21433152
Fresno15945157
Alameda12136193
San Joaquin12034187
Santa Clara11030192
Sacramento10174148
Tulare10078193
Imperial9513232
Stanislaus9308135
Contra Costa8324131
Ventura787777
San Francisco708162
Santa Barbara652664
San Mateo5758120
Marin518076
Monterey496634
Merced458351
Kings445356
Solano380638
Sonoma320842
Madera211432
Placer199819
San Luis Obispo197016
Yolo161442
Santa Cruz11964
Butte10128
Napa10079
Sutter8406
San Benito6894
El Dorado6681
Lassen6320
Yuba5334
Shasta4049
Colusa3594
Glenn3462
Mendocino3419
Nevada3161
Tehama2491
Humboldt2454
Lake2111
Mono1461
Tuolumne1442
Amador1370
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou880
Inyo661
Mariposa592
Plumas330
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
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Although temperatures began to rise today around northern California, our weather was still quite pleasant for early August. Enjoy the below-average highs will we have them, because hotter weather will return soon.
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