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Critics Warn People Could End Up Back On Street, As Shelter-In-Place Hotels Close

Flickr user Christopher Michael (CC BY 2.0)
One solution to making sure unhoused people could shelter-in-place safely was creating safe sleep sights, like the one in front of city hall. The other was shelter-in-place hotel rooms.

At the beginning of the Coronavirus shutdown, the city of San Francisco rented hotel rooms for over 2,300 homeless people. For many, it was the first time in years they had a bed and bathroom to themselves. Now, the city is gradually closing these shelter-in-place hotels.

The plan is to eventually move everyone into permanent housing. And if it’s successful, it could be one of the city’s largest rehousing efforts to date. But critics say the plan is moving too quickly. 

"The people who are in these hotel units are in very, very poor health condition for the most part. It is likely be a death sentence sending them back to the streets." - Jennifer Friedenbach

Jennifer Friedenbach is the executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness.

Click the play button above to listen to this interview.

Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.