News and Commentary

California Begins Hotel Rooms For The Homeless Initiative, Includes FEMA Reimbursements
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 21: California Governor Gavin Newsom departs after a press conference at the Henry Robinson Multi-Service Center in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Newsom announced the formation of the Homeless & Supportive Housing Advisory Task Force and has pledged $1billion of the state budget to fight homelessness.
Jane Tyska/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

California Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) announced Friday afternoon that his administration received approval from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) to start “Project Roomkey,” an initiative aimed at securing temporary housing for homeless people in hotels across the state.

While standing in front of a motel, the governor revealed that the state secured 6,800 hotel and motel rooms, with the goal of increasing the number to 15,000 by an unspecified date, reports CBS News Sacramento.

“This was the crisis that predated the current crisis in the state of California, and we’re doing everything in our power to meet it head-on,” said Newsom, reports the news agency. “What we want to do is relieve the stress in our shelter system, so we can separate individuals and ultimately relieve the impact in our medical care delivery system.”

While it’s currently unclear how long the policy will remain in place, and how much the initiative will cost in total, the governor previously announced he would commit $150 million of the state’s money to homeless aid, reports Fox News Los Angeles.

In a press release, Newsom revealed that local governments “will receive up to 75 percent cost-share reimbursements from FEMA for hotel rooms and motel rooms,” including expenses related to security, maintenance, and food, according to a press release.

World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit organization that provides meals in disaster zones, will be providing meals at select locations. Furthermore, the initiative will also include partnerships with nonprofit and local government organizations to provide “essential behavioral health and health care services” to homeless people.

“Homeless Californian’s are incredibly vulnerable to COVID-19 and often have no option to self-isolate or social-distance,” said the governor. “By helping the most vulnerable homeless individuals off the street and into isolation, California can slow the spread of COVID-19 through homeless populations, lower the number of people infected and protect critical healthcare resources.”

“We’re working hard with our county partners to get these hotels up and running as rapidly as possible,” said Newsom.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the state of California had approximately 150,000 homeless people in 2019, and as recently as 2017, the state’s homeless population accounted for approximately one in four of the nation’s homeless people. 

As The Daily Wire has previously reported, Newsom publicly floated a particularly odd vision for addressing the homeless crisis in February, declaring that he wants to live in a world where doctors can “write prescriptions for housing the same way they do for insulin or antibiotics.”

In response to the governor’s statement, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) blasted him for demonstrating the problem with the left-wing mindset.

“This is the Leftist mind: write a slip of paper & a house will magically appear,” said Cruz. “Never mind that the person doesn’t have a job, the contractor can’t get a CA permit to build the house, rent control has caused a housing shortage & homeless people are crapping on the doorstep.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  California Begins Hotel Rooms For The Homeless Initiative, Includes FEMA Reimbursements