On Tuesday, December 9, Board of Supervisor Matt Haney along with Shelter-in-Place Hotel (SiP) providers discussed the repercussions of shutting down the program without a plan to move residents into a permanent housing.
Supervisor Haney emphasized that the SiP program is a necessary public health response and has been key in curbing a major Covid outbreak but that the goal has to be to get residents into stable housing and not back out on the streets once the program winds down.
SiP hotel resident, Susan Griffin, expressed how the program has saved her life. Griffin lost her job this year and was about to spend her first night on the street when she found out about the program. SiP has been a place for her to not only stay safe during the pandemic but also to get her life back on track and apply for jobs.
“Anyone can be one check away from being homeless. Three years ago, I never would have thought this could happen,” Griffin said.
Site 1, the only hotel providing shelter for young people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic, is also due to wind down eventually and this would mean hundreds of young people back on the streets without necessary resources to help them survive and thrive.
“We are grateful for the 30-day extension to help staff prepare but young people need more time. If they aren’t moved into a stable housing, more young people will get left behind,” our very own Kenyaun Christie said.
For young people experiencing homelessness who are already struggling to build a stable future, going back out onto the streets after SiP hotels shutdown without a plan for permanent housing, would be a setback that could permanently affect their future.