Coronavirus: Organization provides temporary housing and care for SoCal homeless with medical conditions

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, an organization is now providing temporary housing and care.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Trying to stay healthy while homeless is a challenge in itself. It's a job made more difficult for those already suffering from medical conditions.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, an organization is now providing temporary housing and care.

"If it wasn't for these people, I don't know where I would be. I was sleeping on the ground near a church," Nicole Williams said.

Williams suffers from osteoarthritis. One month ago, she slept on sidewalks and had to search for each and every meal.

A bad car accident broke Edwardo Granado's femur bone making it hard for him to walk, much less work. He already struggled financially before the crash and COVID-19 epidemic.

"I was stuck in the hospital for a few weeks. I was living in my car," he said.

They are just two of 75 homeless and physically-handicapped guests now staying in a Los Angeles hotel.

It's made possible through the National Health Foundation's partnership with Project Roomkey, a statewide program that is providing temporary housing to support individuals experiencing homelessness to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

But the NHF is taking the care one step further, specifically supporting homeless individuals who suffer from medical conditions.

NHF CEO Kelly Bruno says they opened their doors May 18.

"Those individuals come from hospitals and they come from other Project Roomkeys where they are just not able to maintain because they have those underlying health conditions," Bruno said.

Nurses check in and check up on guests. They receive their medication and meals are delivered to their doors. Social services help them find permanent housing.

"So those that are here they get to relax. They get to have comfort in the fact that they can stay here until we can find them permanent housing."

The goal is to house individuals for three months.

"The day that I got here it was like a life saver for me," Williams said.

Two individuals have already transitioned to permanent housing.

Guests feel a sense of safety and relief not felt in years.

Overwhelmed by gratitude, Granado is optimistic about the future.

"I'm going to be alright you know. Thanks to this whole situation here, everything is going to be okay."

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California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly provides data on COVID-19 cases in California on June 15, 2020.

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