Gov. Newsom looks at Project Roomkey as potential long-term fix on homelessness

California Governor Gavin Newsom says he hopes to build on the state's efforts to shelter the homeless during the pandemic, and is looking for a permanent solution.

The governor says he's setting aside more than a billion dollars to help cities and counties buy hotels and properties to help transition homeless off the streets and into homes.

Governor Newsom is touting the success of Project Roomkey, the state plan started in April that's paying hotels to house the homeless.

"Couldn't be more proud of an effort, in just a few months to get 14,200 individuals off the streets our of encampments and into units like this," said Governor Newsom.

The governor spoke at a Pittsburg hotel in Contra Costa County.

"We're here at a facility [with] 131 rooms, almost every single one of them occupied with over 164 individuals behind these doors, getting support services, getting three meals a day."

Now he says it's time to transition the temporary plan to a permanent solution.

"We were able to sign a balanced budget yesterday, but it did the following," said Governor Newsom. "It provided an additional $1.3 billion to cities and to counties to support programs like this."

That includes $550 million to buy properties, and $350 million for services to effectively transition people off the streets and into homes. The governor said at the same time, he's transitioning Project Roomkey, into Project Home Key. "Shelters solve sleep. Housing and supportive services solve homelessness."

Before the pandemic the governor's State of the State Address focused on homelessness and despite a $52 billion deficit following the coronavirus outbreak, the governor has said he managed to find the funding for this plan.