California is working across government to get homeless Californians – among the most vulnerable to spread of COVID-19 – safely into shelter & housing
Governor signed executive order granting local flexibility on spending and building shelters
State purchased 1,309 trailers and leased first two hotels to provide emergency isolation units for homeless individuals
SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today took a series of significant, additional actions to protect Californians experiencing homelessness from COVID-19. The State of California is providing emergency aid to local governments and implementing emergency protective measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among this particularly vulnerable population, many of whom have no option to self-quarantine or isolate.
“People experiencing homelessness are among the most vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Newsom. “California is deploying massive resources to get these vulnerable residents safely into shelter, removing regulatory barriers and securing trailers and hotels to provide immediate housing options for those most at risk. Helping these residents is critical to protecting public health, flattening the curve and slowing the spread of COVID-19.”
Today’s actions include:
- Emergency Funding: Governor Newsom directed the first allocation of the $500 million in emergency funding recently authorized by the Legislature for COVID-19 related activities – $150 million for local emergency homelessness actions. To deploy this first funding allocation, the state will provide:
- $100 million directly to local governments, for shelter support and emergency housing to address COVID-19 among the homeless population, and
- $50 million to purchase travel trailers and lease rooms in hotels, motels, and other facilities in partnership with counties and cities to provide immediate isolation placements throughout the state for homeless individuals.
- Executive Order for Local Flexibility: Governor Newsom signed an executive order providing flexibility to local governments to spend their emergency homelessness funding on immediate solutions tailored to combatting COVID-19 and its impacts on the homeless population. The Governor also waived certain regulatory barriers for any shelters or facilities built with this emergency funding.
- Public Health Guidance for Homeless Shelters: The California Health & Human Services Agency issued official public health guidance to homeless service providers statewide about social distancing measures in shelters, access to hygiene supplies, health screening protocols, and isolation protocols for people with COVID-19 or those demonstrating symptoms. That guidance is available here.