As a result of the pandemic, thousands of people without homes found refuge in motel rooms across the country. As hotels close, special government funding for the pandemic dwindles, and leases expire, these residents are facing uncertainty.
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Homelessness is about to increase.
According to AP. Cities from Anchorage to New Orleans have ended or are winding down their hotel programs, which offered a good alternative to packed homeless shelters amid the spread of COVID-19. Now thousands of residents of these motel programs could face homelessness
Take a look at this hotel in Compton that recently evicted all residents.
As part of a growing trend across the country, spurred by the success of pandemic-era programs of converting usually tourist lodgings into long-term housing, the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless has purchased a Denver-area hotel and is currently acquiring a second hotel.
According to Donald Whitehead, executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless, the temporary housing in hotels provided a blueprint for homeless advocates nationwide. The NCH recently evicted residents of one of their hotel projects.
A number of people leaving the Quality Inn have found permanent housing, some have moved into shelters, others have returned to the streets, and others have moved into temporary hotel rooms paid for by the Housekeys Action Network Denver, or HAND, who launched a GoFundMe to buy camping gear and pay for hotel accommodations. Also participating is the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.
In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “Project Homekey” program grew from “Project Roomkey,” from the pandemic which housed homeless people in hotels across the state.
According to The California Government, the project was started in June 2020, “. Project Homekey” transformed vacant hotels, motels, and other unused properties into permanent supportive housing. Property is purchased by the state, converted, and given to local governments, who then contract with local providers.
Take a look at what Newsom said about the program.
Last month, Newsom announced nearly $700 million for 35 new projects under the program. In total, more than 12,500 permanent and interim homes are expected to be created through more than 200 projects.
Covid-19 is taking more names. It’s a tragedy that people whose lives were destroyed by pandemic restrictions are now facing homelessness. We are praying for them and applaud efforts to find them new housing.
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