Three squares a day and a roof of their head is now happening for L.A.’s homeless during the Coronavirus lock down. The price tag is approaching the $1 Billion mark with no end in sight.
Since the virus began its spread in California, state and community officials have rushed to find shelter for a population at high risk both for catching the disease and spreading it. Governor Gavin Newsom launched an initiative called Project Roomkey, which was designed to quickly lease 15,000 hotel rooms for the homeless statewide.
Los Angeles officials turned two dozen parks and other city facilities into shelters for some of the area’s estimated 58,000 homeless people. As of Wednesday, the region also had 1,350 of them sleeping in more than 20 hotels, with capacity for hundreds more.
Statewide, more than 12,600 of the authorized hotel rooms have been leased and 1,200 recreational vehicles delivered to communities for use as temporary shelters. Newsom has banned evictions based on nonpayment of rent.
Newsom has said Federal Emergency Management Agency funding will cover 75% of the cost of the leased rooms, including money for laundry, security, cleaning and food. The California legislature allocated $150 million in emergency funds for additional support, though city and county sources are also being tapped.
“Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided,” said Va Lecia Adams Kellum, chief executive officer of St. Joseph’s Center, a homeless services center that administers the program at the hotel where the Wallaces are staying. “There’s a caterer that brings food, and nurses take temperatures during the food service.”
Source: Bloomberg News