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Project Roomkey

roomkey

Questions and Answers About the State's Project Roomkey
and What it Means for Pomona

 

What is Project Roomkey?

Project Roomkey is an initiative to provide safe isolation shelter for the homeless amid the coronavirus pandemic.  On Saturday, April 18, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that 10,974 hotel were secured by the State to house the homeless population in California.  In addition to hotels that had already agreed to shelter the homeless for isolation, the State of California entered into a partnership with Motel 6 to secure an additional 5,025 motel rooms. 

 

How many hotels/motels in the City are participating in Project Roomkey and where are they located?

We are aware of only one, the Motel 6 on Garey.

 

Why is the City allowing the hotel/motel operators in Pomona to participate in the project?

The City is not directly involved in the Roomkey project.  The State asked hotel/motel operators if they wanted to participate.  The State then contracted with the operators who have discretion on whether they will participate in the program.

 

Can the City stop the operators from contracting with the State?

While staff will work with the County to identify Project Roomkey locations, the City does not have the power to veto the locations.  During this COVID-19 public health emergency the State and County have extraordinary powers to make these decisions.

 

Will the hotel/motel operators pay all City fees and taxes?

Yes, while the hospitality business is down 70% and some motels/hotels are happy to participate they will also have to pay taxes to the City which will provide much needed revenue to continue to provide essential services.

 

Can the City sue the County and State like other cities are doing? 

Lawsuits are not the solution as a federal judge has already ruled that Governor  Newsom's current Emergency Declaration preempts local jurisdiction over homeless housing matters.

 

How will the homeless at the hotels/motels be monitored or cared for?

Each site is operated by a nonprofit that specializes in providing services to homeless individuals. Each site will have security, health staff, and support staff onsite 24/7.

 

Can homeless just walk up to participating hotels and motels? 

No walk-ups are permitted.  The motel/hotel residents are screened. Each is given a medical check up before they become a resident and then twice a day after that. Each resident's belongings are put into a "hot box" which sanitizes the belongings.

 

Will the homeless individuals spread the virus in our City? 

The homeless clients are monitored and tested daily for COVID-19 symptoms. If symptoms develop, they will be moved to quarantine sites that are equipped to provide medical support.  Each resident gets a health check twice a day. Each individual also gets three meals a day and provided with recreation opportunities to encourage them to stay on-site as much as possible.

 

What happens after the COVID-19 emergency ends, will the homeless be released and remain in our City? 

The homeless clients are monitored and tested daily for COVID-19 symptoms. If symptoms develop, they will be moved to quarantine sites that are equipped to provide medical support.  Each resident gets a health check twice a day. Each individual also gets three meals a day and provided with recreation opportunities to encourage them to stay on-site as much as possible.

 

Why is the County and State sending homeless individuals to our City from other places in the State?

The homeless individuals to be sheltered in our City are not coming from Los Angeles, the beach cities or Lancaster. The homeless are  from the San Gabriel Valley.

 

Are the homeless individuals screened for warrants?

Currently the participants are not screened for warrants.  However, the City has voiced its concern with this and will continue to work with the County to ensure safety of our residents.

 

What is our City doing to monitor the situation?

The Mayor and the City Manager are have held calls and participated in meetings with County staff to monitor the project and its impacts on the City. 

 

Los Angeles County has also provided a FAQ on its website at:  covid19.lacounty.gov/project-roomkey.

If you have further questions or concerns about Project Roomkey you can contact the State at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or obtain more information from the County Housing Department at covid19.lacounty.gov/incident-updates.

 

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