COVID-19 is a threat much different than any other we’ve faced in recent history. With all the uncertainty surrounding the virus, its impact on the homeless population of L.A. County was a big question. To address the issue, L.A. had to think outside of the box.
The situation led to a collaborative effort by the Federal government, State of California, City and County of Los Angeles, and our friends at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) called Project Roomkey. This program secured thousands of hotel and motel rooms for the most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness: older individuals and people with serious health issues. Project Roomkey has enabled over 4,000 people to stay inside safely and help fight the spread of COVID-19.
Los Angeles also took another interesting step in addressing the pandemic. Parks and Recreation centers across the Southland have been adapted into emergency housing sites. Residents at these locations receive daily visits by representatives from the L.A. County Departments of Public Health and Mental Health. There’s never been an effort of this scale to get so many people immediately housed.
Shelter Partnership served as an advocate for these proactive strategies and has supported them by providing roughly $1 million worth of nonperishable goods to these unique housing sites. These goods include incredibly important items like face masks, hand sanitizer, shoes and socks, clothes, blankets, toilet paper, and disinfectant wipes.
Unfortunately, it seems like the pandemic isn’t going away soon. But we’re still fighting. Shelter Partnership is here to support the people who need it and will be long after we return to normal.