COVID-19: How the County is Helping our Homeless and At-Risk Residents
Housing the Homeless
The Human Services Agency in partnership with our eight CORE agencies are rapidly expanding the capacity to house every homeless resident who accepts our offer of shelter in a coordinated effort to protect their health and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Early on, the County began moving highly vulnerable individuals from local shelters into motels and hotels to allow social distancing. These are individuals who do not currently have symptoms but are at high risk for reasons that may include age or an underlying health condition.
To increase capacity, the County quickly added four large trailers to serve an additional 20 clients near the Maple Street Homeless Shelter.
The County recently leased rooms at a local hotel, known as Bayfront Station, as part of the statewide initiative known as Project Roomkey. This facility will house homeless individuals who do not have symptoms and are deemed high risk based on CDC guidelines. Occupants are expected to abide by the County’s face covering and social distancing requirements but are allowed to leave their rooms. Cloth face covering tips here.
If someone you know is experiencing homelessness and would like help with shelter, please visit any one of our eight core agencies located throughout the county to serve our communities. Information in English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, and Tongan.
Alternative Care Sites
Separately, the County has secured or is partnering on alternative care sites for individuals in need of a safe place to quarantine if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or who are positive and need to isolate for the appropriate amount of time. Those who cannot isolate or quarantine at home and need assistance should call 211.
Some of these individuals are being housed in 19 RVs that the County has relocated to the San Mateo Event Center. June 12 update: These RVs are now being used to expand the County's mobile testing capacity.
The County has also secured a hotel for those needing medical care but not requiring hospitalization, and for first responders who have been exposed to COVID-19.
Although not a County operation, the County considered the federal and state use of a San Carlos hotel to house passengers of the Princess Cruise Line ship to be part of its humanitarian duty.
To prepare for a potential surge in hospital patients, the County also secured a Federal Medical Station at the San Mateo Center. There are currently no patients at the site but it stands ready to decompress local hospitals by shifting lower acuity patients if necessary.