There are more vacant hotel rooms in San Francisco than there are homeless people as the city decides whether to house its 8,000 homeless in empty hotels
- A proposed measure would require San Francisco to procure and rent empty hotel rooms to house its entire homeless population during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- If it passes, then homeless residents would have space to shelter in place alongside much of the rest of the city.
- San Francisco's travel and tourism industries have been slammed, and turning to the city's unoccupied hotel rooms has been in talks as a solution to housing the homeless community amid the outbreak.
- There were an estimated 30,000 empty hotel rooms in late March.
- A 2019 count placed the estimated number of people living homeless on the streets of San Francisco at 8,011.
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There are more empty hotel rooms in San Francisco than there are homeless people.That's a significant fact as the coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19, has gripped the tourist destination city and spread throughout the US.Advertisement
Much of the city has been directed to shelter in place in their homes and stay there as much as possible. By doing that, and only leaving for essential needs - like for groceries, medicine, or for a quick break for fresh air - the city's estimated 881,000 residents are helping in flattening the curve in the fight against the respiratory illness, or helping to slow its spread so that healthcare workers have time to prepare.
But the city's - and region's - homeless population was exempt from the order, with those living on the streets instructed to sit tight until officials could come up with ways to house and protect them. That order was announced on March 16, and on the same day, a homeless person in Santa Clara County, in the heart of Silicon Valley, was reported to have died of the coronavirus disease.There were roughly 8,000 people living on the streets in San Francisco at the time of the last estimate in 2019. There are currently 30,000 empty hotel rooms in the city.
Here's how the city wants to use those rooms.Do you have a personal experience with the coronavirus you'd like to share? Or a tip on how your town or community is handling the pandemic? Please email email@example.com and tell us your story.
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