SF Supervisors Set To Consider Emergency Ordinance To House Homeless

Melissa Culross
April 07, 2020 - 9:21 pm

Several San Francisco Supervisors are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to getting the homeless off the streets and into hotel rooms to weather the COVID-19 crisis. Saying the city has been moving too slowly, several members of the board have announced emergency legislation to get the homeless into hotel rooms to shelter in place during the pandemic.

With the statewide shelter in place order still in effect, it’s easier to stay home, but that’s if you have a home. San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton says that the city needs to put a greater emphasis on providing shelter for the homeless.

“We need to make sure that our homeless population is afforded the same opportunities that you and I have to be able to shelter in place safely.” said Walton

Walton and several other members of the Board of Supervisors have announced an emergency ordinance that would require the city to procure more than 8000 hotel rooms by April 26th to house people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Supervisor Matt Haney says that the rooms will be allocated across a handful of different groups.

“750 will be for workers on the front line of this crisis, 500 will be for medical quarantine.” said Haney, “7000 will be for people who are experiencing homelessness who are either in a shelter or out on the streets.”

Getting the homeless off the street and into shelter, preferably private shelter, during the shelter in place order is of the utmost importance, according to Haney.

“We cannot wait for people to get sick before we move them into a private room,” said Haney, “People have to be prevented from getting sick in the first place by being able to be physically and socially distant from others and protect themselves.”

The full Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on the emergency ordinance next week.