Project Roomkey Nears 5000 People Permanently Housed
In October, LAHSA and its partners successfully ramped down the Project Roomkey program sites at the Airtel in Van Nuys and the Highland Gardens in Hollywood respectively. Throughout the ramp-down process, LAHSA and its partners successfully helped 52 Project Roomkey participants end their homelessness through permanent housing. An additional 197 participants moved into interim housing.
Overall, the successful COVID-19 interim housing program has provided over 10,000 COVID-vulnerable people experiencing homelessness with access to private rooms for shelter and safety during the pandemic and helped over 4800 of those people permanently end their homelessness.
“Project Roomkey showed us what is possible when our entire community comes together with the right mix of resources and the political will to bring our unhoused neighbors inside,” said LAHSA’s Interim Executive Director Stephen David Simon. “Since its inception, Project Roomkey has hosted over 10,000 of our unsheltered neighbors, leading to over 4,800 permanent housing placements. This is a tremendous success for any shelter program.”
Project Roomkey is the hallmark of the collaboration between the City and County of Los Angeles, the State of California, and the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unprecedented coordination coupled with a stream of new funding resources led to over 7,000 people vulnerable to COVID-19 entering a hotel room only a couple of months after Project Roomkey’s inception. At its peak, Project Roomkey included over 4,000 rooms in 37 hotels.
“Project Roomkey was an essential intervention that kept people alive during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Councilmember Nithya Raman, interim chair of the Los Angeles City Council’s Homelessness and Poverty Committee. “My hope is that we are able to incorporate lessons from our ability to quickly provide interim housing at scale during the pandemic into our ongoing and urgent efforts to get Angelenos housed.”
Remaining Project Roomkey Locations
The final two Project Roomkey sites in Los Angeles County are The Grand in Downtown Los Angeles and the Cadillac Hotel in Venice. Both hotels will ramp down as Project Roomkey sites by February 2023. As of November 13, 286 people are living in both hotels.
On August 25, 2022, Project Roomkey participants at The Grand received written notification of their hotel’s closure. As of November 15, 175 people in the remaining Project Roomkey sites have been issued either a subsidy or voucher for permanent housing. LAHSA and participants’ caseworkers will work with each participant to find a permanent home in Los Angeles County’s challenging rental market.
All Project Roomkey participants who lack either a subsidy or a voucher will receive at least one offer to move to an interim housing site.
“From the very beginning, it’s been LAHSA’s intention that everyone who participates in Project Roomkey continues to live indoors after the program comes to a close,” continued Simon. “For those we cannot immediately permanently house, we will make every attempt possible to offer an interim housing site that meets their needs and keeps them on a path to a permanent home.”