Moving Homeless People Out of S.F. Hotels Progresses Slowly, But Officials are Determined to See Plan Accomplished

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On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom notified the public that he supports housing homeless residents within the state counties’ hotels during the coronavirus outbreak by granting them a bond amounting to $62 million. According to San Francisco’s derelict department, the plan of moving over 500 homeless individuals from San Francisco resort rooms before Christmas arrives would progress more slowly. However, the nation administrators clarified that they still wish to see this project accomplished to the very end.

The Board of Supervisors is not happy to learn of the news surrounding the move’s stalling status. The group is one of those who is very evaluative of the planned shutdowns of hotels around the state. On Thursday, Supervisors Dean Preston, Hillary Ronen, Matt Haney, and Shamann Walton declared their request to keep the resorts open for the homeless population to shelter them during the ongoing coronavirus situation. Moreover, they also announced their intent to create an ordinance aiming to halt the quick process of closing down hotels across the country. However, whether they would finance for the extended program or enforce their future-drafted law remains unclear as of late.

Ronen expressed her worries about the move-out, affirming that letting over a hundred homeless people out from the hotels would disregard their efforts to give them accommodations to shelter and protect them from the raging pandemic outside, not to mention when Christmas is fast approaching.

According to official statistical reports, it takes about $18 a million every month for the city to financially support the program. Additionally, this year’s budgetary proposals for the initiative would total approximately $198 million. From the previously mentioned amount, San Francisco expects to get about a $187 million portion through state and federal funds. Currently, the city only received a fraction of the planned sum. Moreover, it is still unclear when San Francisco would get the remaining monetary budget allocated for its housing project.

Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing interim director Abigail Stewart-Khan mentioned that the first seven hotels would close by December 21 of this year, and the program needs to slow down by June. According to her, if they failed to implement the two previously stated plans, San Francisco would suffer economic damages as a consequence. Stewart-Khan made her announcement last week.

Moreover, Stewart-Khan spoke again regarding the matter on Wednesday. She revealed that the extra monetary aid could help keep several hotels open for a longer time to house homeless individuals around the state. However, Stewart-Khan did not provide an exact timeline until the extension is valid, and the urgency to move individuals out from lodgings continues.

According to the board, the superintendents’ legislation for stopping the program is still in the drafting process stages. They plan to introduce their constructed ordinance by early December of this year.

As of late, several supervisors surmised multiple temporary funding measures they could take to keep the program afloat. Several of these ideas include requesting the state education fund’s excess money, possible federal stimulus funding, and business tax for homeless services’ extra budget. Should the program obtain the extension, however, it is undecided how exactly they would compensate the project to keep it running. Moreover, if the Federal Emergency Management Agency runs out of monetary support, it would cause more problems to arise around the program.

Ben Rosefield, a City Controller, admitted that he is unsure how long the FEMA budget could financially help with the plan. Rosefield still cautioned that San Francisco might lose monetary support at any time, despite his relief of knowing that Biden’s administration would continue funding for the homeless crisis that the city is currently experiencing.

So far, no hotel program funding plans got included for next year’s fiscal budget.