Tag: Californias

California’s Newsom issues additional $62 million to Project Roomkey

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A Palm Springs man who was living the American Dream is now on the streets and homeless.

Palm Springs Desert Sun

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday announced an additional $62 million in emergency funding to allow counties to keep homeless individuals sheltered who were slated to be evicted from temporary hotel rooms by the end of the year.

Project Roomkey is a statewide program launched in April to temporarily house thousands of people in hotel rooms across California to prevent high-risk homeless individuals from contracting COVID-19 while living in encampments, mass shelters or on the streets. The program targeted seniors, pregnant women and others at risk for having severe COVID-19 symptoms.

More than 28,000 people, which is 17% of the state’s homeless population, have received a hotel room placement under the program.

The state previously said initial funding needed to be spent by the end of the year. As a result, nearly 12,000 people still housed in Roomkey hotel rooms — mostly clustered in California’s largest counties — were facing the possibility of returning to homelessness as the pandemic rages on, according to an analysis by The Desert Sun published two weeks prior to Monday’s announcement of additional funding.

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It is not clear how many of those individuals will be able to remain in their current hotel room placements with the additional funding. Riverside County, for example, should be receiving a portion of those funds, but the total is unknown, according to Greg Rodriguez, policy advisor for Riverside County Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. The amount of funding will help determine how many people can stay housed and how many can be assisted in transitioning to permanent housing.

The state is making the one-time funds immediately available to local governments that still have Project Roomkey sites operating “so that clients living in motel or hotel rooms under this life-saving program will not be forced to return to street homelessness while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact California,” according to a statement.

Of the total allocation, $24 million will go directly to funding the hotel rooms.

“Project Roomkey exceeded all expectations, providing safe shelter to more than 22,300 Californians experiencing homelessness,” Newsom said in a statement. “But this pandemic is very much still with us — and we can’t take our eye off the ball. That’s why we’re supporting our counties with this new money, so they can continue this critical life-saving Roomkey mission and help clients transition into more stable, permanent housing.”

The state initially distributed $150 million to counties to address the need, but that funding quickly ran out. Many counties already have shut down their programs completely, kicked clients out due to lack of funding, or stopped taking new clients in.

Our analysis: These Californians could become homeless, again

Palm Springs: Homeless say they need more than protection from virus

Coachella Valley: 3 emergency shelters close due to lack of funding

Overall, only 5% of Roomkey clients have

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Understanding California’s Travel Guidelines for the Holidays

Good morning.

As the holiday season approaches, many people are anticipating gatherings that look markedly different from last year.

Like thousands of others, my husband and I canceled our plans to visit a neighboring state for Thanksgiving. It was an easy decision to make, given the nationwide surge in cases, but hard to break the news to relatives, especially those who were eager to see their only grandchild for the first time in months.

And although not yet experiencing a second wave, California on Thursday reached the grim milestone of one million cases, according to The New York Times’s database. Health officials also announced this week that 11 counties moved back into a more restrictive tier of the state’s reopening system.

“If things stay the way we are between this week and next week over half of Californian counties will have moved into a more restrictive tier,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s health secretary, in his briefing on Tuesday.

Even so, there are currently no travel restrictions in place for people entering California from another state. A few states require visitors from California to self-quarantine on arrival.

Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that people travel as little as possible at this time. If you must travel, it’s best to check the infection rates in the state you are traveling to and what the restrictions are for each state.

[See where cases are currently surging in the U.S.]

If you’re traveling within the state, Bay Area health officials are recommending 14-day quarantines after traveling outside the county, something that Dr. Ghaly advises as well.

In August, I talked to Dr. Jeanne A. Noble, an emergency medicine doctor and the director of the Covid-19 response at U.C.S.F. Medical Center’s emergency department, about how people can stay safe while traveling this year.

Among her recommendations were:

  • Arrange for testing ahead of leaving on trips.

  • Quarantine if you cannot get tested.

  • Wear a mask, wipe down high-touch surfaces and practice social distancing as much as possible.

[Read our recommendations for traveling during the pandemic.]

And even if you are staying local for the holidays, health officials say you are still at risk for transmission.

California’s increase in case rates is most likely linked to higher risk activities like indoor dining and private household gatherings in some counties. My colleague Tara Parker-Pope reported that health officials believe small home gatherings are fueling the spread of the coronavirus in part because most homes, by design, are poorly ventilated. Mandatory requirements for private gatherings dictate that they should be limited to no more than three households, should not last longer than two hours and should be held outdoors.

While not calling out Thanksgiving dinner by name, Dr. Ghaly said on Tuesday that settings where people from different households congregate indoors sharing long meals together is a “really high risk activity.”

“We do advise as much as possible that people reduce those types of activities as much as possible to

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Check out California’s best-kept travel secrets



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What was once a dumping site for garbage, Glass Beach has become a beautiful destination for tourists thanks to its abundance of colorful sea glass that covers the seashore.



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In the middle of the desert, about an hour south of Palm Springs, there stands a three-story tall mountain of spellbinding colors and religious sentiments constructed by artist Leonard Knight.



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Believe it or not, this idyllic island is not in Hawaii. It is actually 12 miles (19 km) off of the coast of Santa Barbara. The sensational view from Inspiration Point (pictured) is nothing short of breathtaking.



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After taking a short boat ride from the Ventura or Oxnard Harbors, get lost in nature while hiking around the island, and take in the stunning seaside cliffs and turquoise waters.



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This small beach town in the Monterey peninsula is overflowing with charm. Its historical center filled with fairy-tale cottages will have you feeling like you’ve gone back in time.



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Here you

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