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Confronting COVID-19: San Mateo County Responds


What is Bayfront Station?

Bayfront Station is a Peninsula hotel, where the County of San Mateo has leased a block of rooms, to temporarily house homeless individuals who do not have symptoms and are deemed high risk based on CDC guidelines. The hotel serves as a non-congregate shelter during the shelter in place order.

Are all homeless in the County required to go there?

No. The County is only housing homeless individuals who meet the high-risk and eligibility criteria, who have requested services and accept our offer of shelter. We will make every effort to help as many homeless clients we can during this pandemic. 

Who decides who goes there?

The process for accessing homeless shelter services, including Bayfront Station, is by contacting the Core Service Agencies and completing the screening and assessment process. Clients who are not eligible for Bayfront Station will be assessed and be placed on the Shelter Request list and contacted when a shelter bed is available.

Will the hotel also house paying guests while being used for homeless?


Who is paying for Bayfront Station?

The County executed the agreement with the hotel owner and anticipates being reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) and the state through its homeless housing initiative, Project Roomkey.

Can the occupants leave?

Occupants are expected to abide by the County’s Shelter in Place Order, the Health Officer Order requiring the wearing of face coverings in public and social distancing requirements. They are considered general members of the public and are allowed to leave their rooms. Some may be working as essential workers.

How long will the homeless guests stay?

It is anticipated that Bayfront Station will maintain operations as long as County and/or state Shelter in Place mandates are effective.

Will the County provide the occupants food and personal protective equipment?

The County does provide occupants three meals a day as it does with all participants in our shelter program. The County will provide all occupants a mask if they wish to go outside their room.

Will the occupants be COVID-19 positive?

No. Occupants will not be currently symptomatic. If a homeless individual tests positive for COVID-19, they will be hospitalized if needed or housed in one of the County’s alternative care sites to allow for proper isolation and treatment.

Are occupants tested before they are housed in the hotel?

Upon arrival at Bayfront Station, a medical screening will be completed at intake, including a COVID-19 screening to include a thermal temperature check, and short health screening. If the individual is unable to pass the COVID-19 screening, the individual will not be allowed to stay and will be routed to the appropriate medical pathway.

How will Bay Station be staffed?

The Bay Station will be staffed 24/7 through a contract with Samaritan House and security will be provided by a professional security firm.

Is this the only hotel housing homeless in San Mateo County?

No. Early on in this pandemic, the County began moving highly vulnerable individuals from local shelters into motels and hotels to provide a space for self-isolation and allow social distancing.

Where are these motels and hotels?

Out of respect for the privacy of our clients, we are not identifying which hotels are participating in this program.

If I am homeless or know someone who is, who do I contact to secure shelter?

Anyone experiencing homelessness and seeking shelter should contact one of the eight Core Service Agencies.  The Core Service Agencies are the centralized entry point for homeless services.