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Governor Newsom Says California Has 7,000 Hotel Rooms Ready For Homeless Residents

Makeshift tents house the homeless on a street in Los Angeles, California, home to one of the nation's largest homeless populations. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)
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California Governor Gavin Newsom announced today that the state has secured nearly 7,000 hotel rooms for homeless Californians to stay in during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rooms are for anyone who’s homeless and tests positive for the virus, or was known to be exposed to it.

They're also for people outside who are over 65, or are documented to have underlying chronic health conditions like heart or lung disease in local homeless case management systems.

Newsom said about 75% of the tab for these hotel rooms will be covered by the federal government. He said the $2 trillion relief bill included about $180 million to aid the homeless in California.

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In the coming weeks, Newsom hopes to open even more hotel rooms — for a total of 15,000.

Advocates for the homeless say it’s a good start, but even 15,000 rooms would shelter just one-tenth of California’s homeless population.

They point out that most people outside have chronic health conditions.