Redwood City – The County of San Mateo will receive $750,000 in funding from the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to support local efforts to protect the homeless and increase shelter capacity during the COVID-19 health crisis.

This funding specifically applies to Project Roomkey, a statewide initiative launched by Gov. Gavin Newsom to provide non-congregate shelter to high risk homeless individuals to help stem the spread of COVID-19.

“The County of San Mateo is committed to offering and expanding shelter and housing to our homeless residents who want it.  We are grateful of this funding from the state to support the mission of Project Roomkey and the County’s commitment to protecting the entire community while we are required to shelter in place,” said County Manager Mike Callagy.

The County’s efforts under Project Roomkey include opening Bayfront Station, a new non-congregate shelter program for medically at-risk homeless residents utilizing leased hotel rooms at a local hotel. As of this week, there are 90 clients sheltering at Bayfront Station. CDSS funds may be used to support program operations, including on site staffing, food, security, and other needs.

“This critical funding will allow our partnership with Samaritan House and the hotel operator to continue moving forward during this crisis,” said Human Services Agency Director Ken Cole.  

The CDSS funding may also be used by the County in other efforts to protect its homeless population and overall community by expanding shelter capacity, implementing new protocols at shelters, moving some homeless into alternate shelter locations to allow for social distancing and outreaching to those who choose to remain unsheltered.

For more information on the County of San Mateo’s efforts with serving the homeless population during COVID-19, visit: https://www.smcgov.org/covid-19-how-county-helping-our-homeless-and-risk-residents

Learn more and watch a video about Bayfront Station at https://cmo.smcgov.org/sheltering-homeless-key-stopping-spread-coronavirus