Report: Half of California’s 15,000 Hotel Rooms for Homeless Are Empty

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Half of the 15,000 hotel rooms leased under Operation Roomkey, California’s program to provide emergency housing to the homeless during the coronavirus pandemic, are empty. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Tuesday: More than a month into Gov. Gavin Newsom’s program to get homeless people off the streets, the occupied rooms account for — at most — less than 5% of the 151,000 people who sleep on street corners, under bridges and in emergency shelters across California. As of Monday, 7,919 hotel rooms had guests and another 7,700 were vacant, according to figures released by Newsom’s office. The actual number of leased rooms in the statewide program known as Project Roomkey could be even lower since Newsom’s goal also included rooms reserved for people, homeless or not, who needed to quarantine or isolate themselves because of the coronavirus.

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