Paso Robles, CA – Sept. 2, 2020      The temporary camping facility for homeless residents has been operational at the Borkey Flats site for a few weeks. The site has restrooms, showers, and a safe needle exchange program, and a safe parking area….. The City’s Community Action Team (CAT) has been visiting homeless encampments in the riverbed. They have visited 15-20 camps and informed individuals of the new camping site and of the city’s intent to clean up the riverbed to mitigate fire risk and protect water quality…… To date, three encampments have been cleaned up of all debris and waste products. The camping site has not seen high levels of utilization to date, but the city has seen a drop in fire activity since the CAT team has been active and cleanup has begun….. The city will need to move the Borkey Flats encampment in the winter given that it is in the flood plain, and continues to work with homeless service provider partners to identify long-term solutions…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER    …..     …..
Sacramento, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     Gov. Newsom said Wednesday that California is making an “unprecedented” effort to address homelessness, two days after lawmakers failed to pass a bill to massively increase housing production….. The governor said the state has placed more than 22,000 homeless Californians in 16,400 hotel and motel rooms amid the pandemic, and is giving cities and counties $600 million to purchase the rooms and convert them into permanent housing….. Local governments also got another $628 million in emergency homelessness aid….. “It’s self-evident that this has to be our top priority and it is,” said Newsom……   A bill heading to Newsom’s desk would create a state Office to End Homelessness, led by a new “homelessness czar.” But the governor said Wednesday he already has a homelessness czar — a seemingly fluid title, given that he’s used it to refer to six people in the past two years, including himself……      HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER…..     …..
Oxnard, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     The Vagabond Inn in Oxnard could soon transition from an affordable hotel option to permanent supportive housing for 70 of the county’s homeless residents, thanks to a state funding effort that aims to house California’s most vulnerable homeless individuals….. The Vagabond Inn is under consideration for funding under Project Homekey, the next phase in the state’s efforts to protect homeless residents who are high-risk for COVID-19. In July, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $600 million in funding for cities and counties to convert motels, hotels and other housing types into permanent housing…..  “This is an opportunity that allows us to both respond to COVID-19 and respond to homelessness and the long-term need to provide housing,” said Oxnard Housing Director Emilio Ramirez…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER     …..     …..
San Francisco, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     Bay Area universities and homeless advocates released a report on Thursday revealing the various barriers homeless San Franciscans face when accessing housing…..  The report’s authors, the Coalition on Homelessness and researchers with the University of California at Berkeley, San Francisco State University and Santa Clara University surveyed 600 temporarily housed San Franciscans, with a focus on transgender people …..  Participants revealed inequities that homeless transgender people face to obtain housing, poor shelter conditions, crowded living spaces and strict curfews, created even more barriers to housing. Fifty-eight percent of participants said they would prefer a legal homeless camp with basic amenities like showers and toilets while 34 percent reported having substance abuse issues…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER     …..     …..
Stanton, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     The County of Orange and Jamboree Housing Corporation submitted three applications as co-applicants and in partnership with the City of Stanton under the State Homekey program, all located in the City of Stanton, for a total request of $28.1 million in funding…..   The County recently received word that the State reserved funding for both The Tahiti Motel and Stanton Inn and Suites applications….. Two of the motels identified for funds in the City of Stanton include The Stanton Inn and Suites, on Katella Avenue and the Tahiti Motel, on Beach Boulevard. A third motel is in negotiation with the motel owner, they say. By the end of the project, 132 new affordable homes will be available for those experiencing homelessness.   Although this does not yet represent an award from the State, it is one step closer to securing funding to make the Homekey program work…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER…..     …..     …..  
Oxnard, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     The Vagabond Inn in Oxnard could soon transition from an affordable hotel option to permanent supportive housing for 70 of the county’s homeless residents, thanks to a state funding effort that aims to house California’s most vulnerable homeless individuals….. The Vagabond Inn is under consideration for funding under Project Homekey, the next phase in the state’s efforts to protect homeless residents who are high-risk for COVID-19. In July, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $600 million in funding for cities and counties to convert motels, hotels and other housing types into permanent housing…..  “This is an opportunity that allows us to both respond to COVID-19 and respond to homelessness and the long-term need to provide housing,” said Oxnard Housing Director Emilio Ramirez…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER     …..     …..
Sacramento, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     Gov. Newsom said Wednesday that California is making an “unprecedented” effort to address homelessness, two days after lawmakers failed to pass a bill to massively increase housing production….. The governor said the state has placed more than 22,000 homeless Californians in 16,400 hotel and motel rooms amid the pandemic, and is giving cities and counties $600 million to purchase the rooms and convert them into permanent housing….. Local governments also got another $628 million in emergency homelessness aid….. “It’s self-evident that this has to be our top priority and it is,” said Newsom……   A bill heading to Newsom’s desk would create a state Office to End Homelessness, led by a new “homelessness czar.” But the governor said Wednesday he already has a homelessness czar — a seemingly fluid title, given that he’s used it to refer to six people in the past two years, including himself……      HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER…..     …..
Paso Robles, CA – Sept. 2, 2020      The temporary camping facility for homeless residents has been operational at the Borkey Flats site for a few weeks. The site has restrooms, showers, and a safe needle exchange program, and a safe parking area….. The City’s Community Action Team (CAT) has been visiting homeless encampments in the riverbed. They have visited 15-20 camps and informed individuals of the new camping site and of the city’s intent to clean up the riverbed to mitigate fire risk and protect water quality…… To date, three encampments have been cleaned up of all debris and waste products. The camping site has not seen high levels of utilization to date, but the city has seen a drop in fire activity since the CAT team has been active and cleanup has begun….. The city will need to move the Borkey Flats encampment in the winter given that it is in the flood plain, and continues to work with homeless service provider partners to identify long-term solutions…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER    …..     …..
San Francisco, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     Bay Area universities and homeless advocates released a report on Thursday revealing the various barriers homeless San Franciscans face when accessing housing…..  The report’s authors, the Coalition on Homelessness and researchers with the University of California at Berkeley, San Francisco State University and Santa Clara University surveyed 600 temporarily housed San Franciscans, with a focus on transgender people …..  Participants revealed inequities that homeless transgender people face to obtain housing, poor shelter conditions, crowded living spaces and strict curfews, created even more barriers to housing. Fifty-eight percent of participants said they would prefer a legal homeless camp with basic amenities like showers and toilets while 34 percent reported having substance abuse issues…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER     …..     …..
Stanton, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     The County of Orange and Jamboree Housing Corporation submitted three applications as co-applicants and in partnership with the City of Stanton under the State Homekey program, all located in the City of Stanton, for a total request of $28.1 million in funding…..   The County recently received word that the State reserved funding for both The Tahiti Motel and Stanton Inn and Suites applications….. Two of the motels identified for funds in the City of Stanton include The Stanton Inn and Suites, on Katella Avenue and the Tahiti Motel, on Beach Boulevard. A third motel is in negotiation with the motel owner, they say. By the end of the project, 132 new affordable homes will be available for those experiencing homelessness.   Although this does not yet represent an award from the State, it is one step closer to securing funding to make the Homekey program work…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER…..     …..     …..  

Few Sheltered as California Aims to Help Homeless Amid Virus

By Janie Har
March 26, 2020 —

Homeless outreach workers are passing out hand sanitizer, checking temperatures and pleading with people not to crowd together. But a week after California Gov. Gavin Newsom pledged thousands of hotel rooms to help the homeless survive the coronavirus pandemic, most of those rooms sit empty.

For most of California’s estimated 150,000 homeless, the message they’re getting — if they get one at all — is to isolate themselves if they feel sick and call a doctor if symptoms worsen.

“Obviously these are people who are writing recommendations who don’t have any direct experience with what a person goes through when they are homeless,” said Joe Smith, advocacy director for Loaves & Fishes, a Sacramento nonprofit group that provides meals and services to the homeless.

Smith said he hasn’t seen any outreach from public officials to homeless people, many of whom live in tent encampments with dozens or hundreds of people at each site.

Statewide, cities and counties said they are setting up hand-washing stations, portable toilets and arranging for trash pickup at larger encampments as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended. Many shelters are restricting the number of people they will accept to allow for social distancing as they battle a virus spread through coughing and sneezing.

Even after Newsom’s executive order committing $150 million to help homeless amid the crisis, it’s not clear how many homeless people are sick or have been tested. At least one homeless person died, in Santa Clara County.

Anne Miskey, chief executive officer of the nonprofit Union Station Homeless Services in Los Angeles County, said she is troubled that few homeless people appear to be getting COVID-19 tests.

The group, which operates two shelters, brought three people in for testing, she said, but two were denied and one was tested. He was negative for the coronavirus despite a high fever and coughing.

In San Francisco, thermometers to detect fever appear to be the main tool to check for sick people, said Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness.

“Unfortunately shelters don’t have them yet — supposedly the back order is finally coming in today,” she said in an email Wednesday. City spokesman Randolph Quezada said the city received the thermometers this week.

San Diego County, with about 8,000 homeless, has been the most proactive of counties, securing 2,000 rooms and moving in more than 200 people. San Francisco, with a similar number of homeless people, has said it has 300 rooms and is still preparing to move people into them.

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said public health nurses have been doing daily checks on people in homeless shelters, while others roam the streets to look for people with symptoms, check temperatures and provide kits with soap, hand sanitizer and coronavirus information, he said.

“We’re just pushing through this as fast as we can to try to get these systems set up,” Fletcher said.

About 3,200 people in California are infected with the virus and at least 67 have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

CDC guidelines say “unless individual housing units are available,” officials should not clear tent encampments, which might disperse people, but they should be stocked with clean water, toilets and soap.

Figuring out how to safeguard people who don’t have homes has become an issue for communities nationwide as the number of infections leaps, said Adriane Casalotti of the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

“You can’t just say ‘Stay home’ to individuals like that,” she said.

Seattle’s King County, where the coronavirus ripped through a nursing home, killing at least 35 people, has purchased a motel and leased another to shelter infected people. One of the motels, in the Seattle suburb of Kent, is open but so far has only five occupants as workers repair and refurbish rooms.

In California, Newsom said Wednesday that the 4,300 hotel and motel rooms acquired by counties to move the most vulnerable fall far short of the 51,000 needed, even as already acquired rooms sit empty.

A rift in San Francisco between homeless advocates and Mayor London Breed over who should move into the rooms prompted one elected city official to conduct his own negotiations. Supervisor Dean Preston said he used private donations to get families and older women out of group shelters and into 20 private rooms.

“Every minute counts here,” said Preston, whose district includes the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. “Getting folks into individual rooms is good for all of us. If we don’t, it’s a risk to vulnerable populations, neighbors, and our health care system, and this will just be more severe and go on longer.”

This article courtesy of the Sacramento Bee


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