California’s effort to move homeless people into hotel and motel rooms to protect them from the coronavirus has gotten thousands off the streets, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Saturday, but advocates say the program has been slow and uneven in some areas, hampered by red tape and local opposition.
Appearing at a Motel 6 in Campbell in hard-hit Santa Clara County, Newsom said Saturday that his Project Roomkey has so far secured 10,974 hotel and motel rooms for homeless people and that 4,211 — about 38% — are occupied.
Newsom cited “real progress in just a few weeks to procure these sites to start getting people off the streets, out of the shelters and into these safer settings.”
The governor, who wore a protective face mask as he arrived at the event, also announced that the Motel 6 chain has offered to house homeless people at an additional 47 motels in 19 California counties that have about 5,025 rooms.
Still, he acknowledged that Project Roomkey is facing some obstacles at the local level. Cities, including Laguna Hills in Orange County, are fighting efforts to put homeless people in hotels.
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