Pittsburg Motel Becomes Permanent Homeless Support Hub
Motel 6 in Pittsburg won’t be booking rooms for weary tourists but lights in the 174-room facilities will be left on as a safe haven for homeless people in the area.
The motel at 2101 Loveridge Road has been used during the pandemic as a site to shelter people who can’t self-isolate due to lack of housing. The room rentals were made possible as part of the state’s Project Roomkey program, but the state is now going a step further with a $21.5 million grant to permanently convert the motel into a resource hub for the area’s homeless population.
The expanded program is known as Project Homekey — Contra Costa County is a recipient in a first round of grants that allow for the purchase of properties where a bed to sleep will accompany a host of social services.
With the grant money, Motel 6 will become the permanent East County CARE Center, CCHS announced in a media release Wednesday. The center will offer residents on-site case management, meals, peer support, permanent housing navigation, healthcare and mental health services.
Lavonna Martin, CCHS’s director of Health, Housing and Homeless Services, said in the release:
“The funding allows us to accelerate our efforts to provide shelter for people living without housing in the eastern region of our county. This project creates a new interim housing option that allows for a greater degree of privacy and flexibility in household configurations we can serve, with the critical services and supports [SIC] they need to regain permanent housing.”
Cities, counties and organizations have flooded the state with applications since the program’s announcement this summer, but with just $600 million set aside to fund the initiative, there is no way all applications can currently be approved.
The Times Herald reported that 29 applications were received from just Bay Area groups and localities alone, all hoping to convert hotels, apartments and homes with state funding. Statewide, 138 applications were received and the — it would cost more than $1 billion if all were approved. That wave of requests would have converted about 7,600 rooms.
An estimated 150,000 people in California were counted as homeless in 2019, meaning that as helpful as Project Homekey will be, we’re far from solving the state’s homelessness crisis one motel at a time.