Activists demand more action as Project Roomkey starts placing homeless people in hotels

Many people are still living on the streets during COVID-19. Will Project Roomkey successfully reach its goal of putting 15,000 of them into hotel rooms? Photo of a homeless encampment in Mar Vista, April 16, 2020, by Amy Ta/KCRW

There are fears that COVID-19 could spread easily in homeless encampments. But people are still living on the streets in close quarters, sometimes squished together in tents under overpasses. 

In response, California has started Project Roomkey, an initiative that aims to provide hotel rooms for 15,000 of the most vulnerable unhoused people in LA County during the pandemic.

So far, about 1,700 people have moved into rooms, with about 3,000 people still on a waiting list.

Activists say the plan isn’t going fast enough, and they’re demanding more action.