Los Angeles still lacks 80% of its goal of providing 15,000 hotel rooms to its homeless population, a month after the county announced the initiative.
On April 8, Los Angeles County launched "Project Roomkey," a partnership between the state, county, and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to secure hotel and motel rooms to be used as temporary shelters to prevent the spread of coronavirus during the pandemic. .
"Project Roomkey aims to not only protect high-risk individuals, but also prevent the spread of the deadly virus in our communities and protect the capacity of our fragile hospitals and health care systems," the county said.
While the goal was to secure 15,000 rooms with state and federal funding, the latest LA County news 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, a LA County spokeswoman said.Advertisement
On LA's Skid Row – the nation's largest concentration of homeless people – 100 coronavirus infections have been confirmed, a crisis chief told CNN on Monday. The growing number of infections has created fears of an outbreak among the city's homeless communities. The county has a homeless population of around 60,000 people.
At a news conference Monday, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city secured a large hotel in downtown LA, giving 460 more rooms.
The county now has a total of 3,171 rooms with the new grant, which is about 20% of the target.
A spokesman for LA County says negotiations with hotel and motel owners are ongoing.
"We believe this urgent humanitarian initiative is to accommodate more people faster than ever in our nation's history," LA County said in a statement.
California has reported at least 55,884 coronavirus cases, including 2,278 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.