SF to begin moving homeless people out of hotels

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Starting Monday, San Francisco will begin moving more than 500 homeless out of the hotels they’ve been staying in during the pandemic.

Seven hotels are anticipated to close in this first phase of rehousing the homeless but there’s still no clear plan on where they will live next.

Remember the people we’re talking about here are the most vulnerable homeless population, roughly 2,400 of them who are older or who have underlying conditions and were placed in those hotels during the pandemic.

Starting next week though, that will all change. 

The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing says case managers will meet with these people to determine future housing options but homeless advocacy groups are a little concerned about the lack of details.

San Francisco is moving more than 500 homeless people out of hotel rooms over the next two months.

It all starts on Monday after the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing says keeping the city’s most vulnerable homeless population in hotels during the pandemic was temporary and is now no longer financially feasible.

The department says they will be rehousing people through other options but advocacy groups like the coalition on homelessness have concerns after seeing no clear plan where people will be living.

“Have concerns and trepidations around the ability of the city to transition that many folks into permanent supportive housing. We are fully supportive of that. We would love to see that come to fruition but like I said we’re really apprehensive because we haven’t seen that plan. It hasn’t been made transparent to us or the board of supervisors who have tried to hold a hearing on this topic for some time,” Keegan Medrano said.

About 2,400 of the city’s most vulnerable homeless population are currently sheltering in place in those hotel rooms.

Supervisor Matt Haney represents neighborhoods, like the Tenderloin and SoMa where many of those homeless once were and still are.

He also fears that some people may end up back on the street as hotels close.

“The challenge here, how do we make sure as they close these hotels that we get these people off the street for good by getting them permanent placements,” Haney said.

The department says people will be rehoused through programs like rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, and homeward bound which provides bus tickets back to family and friends. However, no more details were given.

The department will close the 25 sites by the end of June.

The departments says it’s already connected some people to a local rent subsidy program.

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