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Oakland and Other Cities Are Converting Hotels Into Housing for the Homeless

by Eben Diskin Mar 31, 2020

As we struggle to cope with the harsh realities of the coronavirus pandemic, it can be easy to forget about the homeless populations around the country. The homeless have little to no access to sanitation, and often rely on shelters, food halls, and other densely packed areas for survival, making social distancing nearly impossible. To aid the homeless community of Oakland, California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced that state officials have set aside 393 rooms in two airport hotels specifically for homeless people during the crisis.

The city of Oakland is also handing out hand sanitizer, hygiene packets, and informational handouts from the CDC to the homeless community.

According to Newsom, state officials are working to “get people out of encampments and into environments where we can address their growing anxiety and out growing concern about the health of some of our most vulnerable Californians.”

Throughout California, 901 hotels are reportedly being considered for the housing of homeless individuals.

Hotels in other cities are following suit. Sixty-one rooms of the closed Radisson Hotel in Manhattan’s Financial District are being used to house New York’s homeless population, while the city of Aurora in Colorado will rent out an entire hotel to house homeless coronavirus patients recovering from the illness.

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