California Hospital Sinks Plan To House Homeless in Nearby Motel, Citing Danger Posed to Employee Parking Lot
Nonprofit homelessness advocates have spent the COVID-19 pandemic trying to house homeless people in hotels rather than crowded shelters where the coronavirus can easily spread. Time and again, these advocates have run into opposition from NIMBY neighbors and city officials.
The latest example comes from Bakersfield, California. On Tuesday, Los Angeles Times columnist Erika Smith published a story detailing how a local hospital scuttled plans to lodge homeless residents in a nearby motel because it was too close to their employee parking lot.
Bakersfield’s local homeless nonprofit, the Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative (BKRHC), had planned to rent out 21 rooms in the city’s Rosedale Inn for several months at the cost of $383,966. Funding was to be provided by the state’s Project Roomkey, a largely federally funded program that pays for putting up homeless people in hotel rooms and providing services to them while they’re there.
The Times reports that previous attempts to house some of Bakersfield’s homeless residents in hotels had fallen through because of opposition from nearby homeowners. BKRHC’s director, Anna Laven, had hoped that the Rosedale Inn, which was not near any residential neighborhood, would be a less controversial location.
But while it wasn’t next to any housing, the roadside motel was near the Bakersfield Heart Hospital, wh
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