During the initial phase of California’s Wuhan coronovirus closure, San Francisco and state officials decided it would be a great idea to use taxpayer dollars to rent hotel rooms for its homeless.

The experiment is working out as well as most sensible people expected.

Thousands of homeless people have been housed in San Francisco’s empty hotels in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.

However, City Journal contributor Erica Sandberg told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Wednesday the policy has been an “absolute disaster,”

“It’s solving exactly nothing and as a matter of fact, it’s making all the problems worse,” said Sandberg, who described the scene inside the hotels as “about as bad as you can imagine, only exponentially worse.”

“You are talking drug-fueled parties, overdoses, deaths, people are being assaulted. You have sexual assaults going on, it is pandemonium,” she said. “It is extremely bad and it needs to stop.”

City officials reportedly secured close to 5,000 rooms at several city hotels that signed up to house homeless and other members of at-risk populations who need to quarantine.

The plan is called “Project Roomkey.” Three-quarters of the funding for the hotel rooms comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, while the remainders is financed by the state government.

It is also being reported that the homeless residents of these hotels are also receiving alcohol and cannabis bought by tax dollars as well.

The city’s Department of Public Health is giving alcohol to guests struggling with addiction and facilitating the delivery of cannabis.

“I just found out that homeless placed in hotels in SF are being delivered alcohol, weed, and methadone because they identified as an addict/alcoholic for FREE,” Thomas Wolf, a drug counselor in San Francisco, tweeted on May 1. “You’re supposed to be offering treatment. This is enabling and is wrong on many levels.”

According to San Francisco’s health department, which staffs the hotels, funding for these substances in the hotels comes from private donations. But Contra Costa County, about an hour outside the city, has spent up to $1,000 in public funding so far on substances for vulnerable residents sheltering in hotels.

Officials from both health departments say the practice of administering drugs and alcohol has prevented people from leaving the hotels to retrieve substances, thereby limiting the potential for the virus to spread.

“This program was put in place in order to support isolation and quarantine practices for patients under investigation or those who were positive for COVID-19, so that they do not break their isolation and expose other members of the community,” Dr. Ori Tzvieli, Contra Costa county’s deputy health officer, told Business Insider.

San Francisco had leased 2,407 hotel rooms as of Tuesday — 1,860 of which were occupied, according to state data. Now, there are plans to relocate 200 homeless into rental units.

San Francisco will move 200 homeless residents out of the hotels where they’ve been temporarily sheltering during the pandemic, and into housing, Mayor London Breed said Thursday.

The announcement marks the city’s first step toward answering a question that has plagued activists and experts for months: What will happen to homeless community members once the coronavirus crisis is over, and temporary shelter programs end?

Likely, many more affordable units will be opening up as well-paid tech workers leave the city to work remotely on a permanent basis.

Coronavirus-related work-from-home policies at the country’s biggest technology companies appear to have caused an exodus from Silicon Valley, which has sent rent prices in San Francisco plummeting.

Rents for a one-bedroom apartment in the major metro area were down 9.2 percent in June when compared with the same period last year, according to data from rental site Zumper. That is the largest decline since at least 2015 and brings the price point ($3,360) down to where it was three years ago.

In the U.S. overall, one-bedroom rents fell by just 0.2 percent. No other major metro city’s data came close to the decrease in San Francisco.

 

 
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