Only about half of the 15,000 hotel and motel rooms that California has leased for mostly homeless people to slow the spread of the coronavirus are now occupied, a review of state records by The Times shows.
More than a month into Gov. Gavin Newsom’s program to get homeless people off the streets, the occupied rooms account for — at most — less than 5% of the 151,000 people who sleep on street corners, under bridges and in emergency shelters across California.
As of Monday, 7,919 hotel rooms had guests and another 7,700 were vacant, according to figures released by Newsom’s office.
The actual number of leased rooms in the statewide program known as Project Roomkey could be even lower since Newsom’s goal also included rooms reserved for people, homeless or not, who needed to quarantine or isolate themselves because of the coronavirus.
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