Rosemead residents protest plan to house homeless in Motel 6 during coronavirus pandemic

ROSEMEAD, Calif. (KABC) -- Dozens of residents on Saturday protested outside a Motel 6 in Rosemead, which will soon house some of the region's homeless population during the coronavirus pandemic.

The plan is part of Project Roomkey, a statewide effort introduced by Gov. Gavin Newsom last month with the goal of protecting the homeless from COVID-19 by temporarily getting them off the streets. The program is not intended to house those with the virus.

In just five weeks, the program has acquired over 15,000 hotel rooms and over 1,300 trailers, housing over 7,000 people. A federal judge in Los Angeles has called Project Roomkey a success, but it has its critics.

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Project Roomkey was created to protect the homeless from the coronavirus and has provided housing to over 7,000 people in just five weeks.

Protesters say they are concerned about what is going to happen to their neighborhood when the program ends and that some individuals may linger in surrounding neighborhoods when they have nowhere else to go.

"We already have issues with drug addiction, mental health. We want something sustainable. This is not sustainable. What is the exit strategy here at Motel 6? We don't know," said Vivian Romero.

Los Angeles County says it has 32 properties that will provide more than 3,000 rooms for homeless seniors and those with health issues.
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