In just two months, the City and County of Sacramento have sheltered 652 homeless people in motel rooms and trailers through Project Roomkey, the state and federally funded homeless response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These numbers reflect our ongoing commitment to supporting some of our most vulnerable residents during this health crisis,” said Emily Halcon, homeless services manager for the City of Sacramento.
On a local level, Project Roomkey has been implemented and managed by the Sacramento Homelessness COVID-19 Response Team task force, which includes the City of Sacramento, County of Sacramento, Sacramento Steps Forward and the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA).
Fears of COVID outbreaks in homeless camps have not materialized, so the joint City-County response team has focused on housing people considered vulnerable because they are over 55 or have pre-existing conditions, officials said. The team is working on a plan to permanently house guests through a combination of existing housing programs, motel acquisitions and expansion of rent subsidies.
The County has leased its fourth motel, which should be fully occupied by next week. In addition to the motel rooms, people are being temporarily sheltered in travel trailers at Cal Expo.
The response team also has placed 56 hand-washing stations and 49 portable toilets next to homeless encampments. A total of 47,276 meals have been provided to people living outdoors through volunteers, Loaves and Fishes and Sacramento Covered.