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Monday, January 24, 2022

New temporary homeless shelter in eastern Contra Costa County

PITTSBURGH – Motel 6 in Pittsburgh, which temporarily housed homeless people threatened by COVID-19 during the pandemic, will soon become a permanent 172-bed shelter and homeless service center.

Contra Costa Health Services celebrated the upcoming opening of a permanent temporary shelter – the first of its kind in eastern Contra Costa County – with a cool outdoor ceremony on Monday. Delta Landing’s temporary housing located at 2101 Loveridge Road in Pittsburgh is expected to open in the next three or four weeks, county officials said.

“Overnight, we were able to move from 20 beds that serve the entire East Contra Costa County to adding another 172,” said Lavonna Martin, Deputy Director of Health Services, Contra Costa Health Services. “I think it’s worth celebrating. We were able to do this thanks to some of the key opportunities that were involved in the state, and also thanks to really all the powerful work here on the ground to make this happen. “

Delta Landing is one of the first projects to be completed under the California ‘Project Homekey’ program announced by Governor Gavin Newsom on the website in June 2020. Using state and federal funds, the program has enabled cities and counties to purchase, renovate, and convert hotels, motels, apartments, and other properties into homeless housing.

Jason Elliott, a senior adviser to the governor, said the project represents a “vicious circle” for the administration and a model of success for others.

“This thing called Homekey didn’t exist 524 days ago,” he told the crowd at the opening. “And here we are today, $ 21 and a half million later for the county, 172 apartments for our neighbors to celebrate. Five hundred and 24 days later, government time, is a lucky heartbeat. ”

Martin thanked the cities of Pittsburgh and Antioch, Congressman Mark DeSolnier and the county board of directors, and others for helping keep homeless people safe during the pandemic and ultimately helping make the motel a permanent resource for the community.

“We are going to ensure that we continue to serve as many people as possible in the eastern region of our district with this resource, and all the services and support we serve people during the pandemic will continue when we open this site. as a permanent fixture, – Martin said.

The suite is shown at the repurposed Motel 6 in Pittsburgh, California on Monday, December 6, 2021. The former hotel is now Delta Landing Interim Housing, a homeless shelter and service center funded by the government’s Homekey project. (Judith Priiv / Bay Area Newsgroup)

The recently renovated shelter will allow the district to meet the urgent need for additional services for about 500 homeless residents in the eastern part of the district, she said.

A number of homeless East Contra Costa residents were previously housed at Motel 6 through the government’s Project Roomkey program, which was funded by FEMA and the federal CARES law. This short-term program paid for motel rooms for those unable to isolate themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic because they had no housing.

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The Homekey Project, a follow-up to the state, later allocated $ 17.4 million to buy and renovate a motel in District 6 and another $ 4.17 million to staff and operate the former motel as temporary housing for homeless families and individuals.

Homekey Foundations will also pay for onsite health care and mental health services, as well as daily meals and help people access services to move to more permanent housing.

The Glover County Federal Overseer thanked the City of Pittsburgh and its police for “hand in hand” with the county and stressed the need for support services.

“The back-office services that are part of this (Homekey) feature are great,” he added. “People, when they are homeless, one of the key things they need is a range of services that will allow them to move from this institution back to our community as a whole.”

Outgoing Pittsburgh Mayor Merle Craft said the city is proud of the county’s partnership on the project.

“Delta Landing is real progress in creating long-term solutions to the problem of homelessness in the Eastern District,” she said. “In 2020, East Contra Costa had the largest number of homeless people (Contra Costa).”

Once the district acquired the motel last fall, Martin said, it began renovating the structure to house a new pet-friendly homeless shelter and expanded the service center, closing it last summer to make the job easier. The homeless were transferred to other facilities in the center of Contra Costa County, she said, noting that they can now return to East Contra Costa County.

On Monday’s tour, Martin showcased a refurbished motel that now features multi-generational adult accommodations, rooms for people with disabilities, in-room microwaves and refrigerators, laundry facilities and a pet lawn. It also has an office and a wellness center where residents can access mental health services or visit a nurse and access other health services.

Residents who can stay at the motel for up to 90 days will receive assistance with paperwork and finding permanent housing, Martin said.

“We want to make sure we build strong connections for individuals. They will not be here (forever), this is not their last stop. Therefore, we want to make sure that as part of the services we offer, we will stabilize them in the community, wherever they may be. ”

Martin noted that temporary housing is only part of the solution.

“Our work is yet to come,” she said during a visit to the shelter. “So temporary housing is just one intervention. We need to continue building permanent housing there. You have to make sure that people can go straight from the street to permanent housing if they need it. ”

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