Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday evening issued an executive order to help prevent evictions during the coronavirus outbreak. The order gives local governments the authority to halt evictions for renters and homeowners but stops short of creating a statewide moratorium. The order also aims to slow foreclosures and help keep utilities running for residents affected by COVID-19. “People shouldn’t lose or be forced out of their home because of the spread of COVID-19,” Newsom said in a statement. “Over the next few weeks, everyone will have to make sacrifices – but a place to live shouldn’t be one of them. I strongly encourage cities and counties take up this authority to protect Californians.” The order will be in effect through the end of May and could be extended. It doesn’t mean renters won’t have to pay rent, but it could mean delayed payments for some. The order urges banks and financial institutions to stop foreclosures and evictions during the same time period.
During this unprecidented time, some of our most vulnerable residents need help.
A message from Bart Charlow from Samaritan House:
Samaritan House, the Lead Core Agency in San Mateo County, will be open and providing essential services to low-income County residents as long as circumstances permit.
All Food & Nutrition, Free Clinic, Case Management (including rental and utility assistance, etc.), Coordinated Entry System for Homelessness Diversion & Placement, and the Safe Harbor Homeless Shelter are operating, although some access or availability may be restricted.
Please call 1 (650) 347-3648 first to see how to access these programs and for health screening before entering.
Samaritan House will continue to provide "backbone" services to partner agencies throughout San Mateo County, including the disbursement of assistance funding through the Core Agency Network.
RIGHT NOW WE NEED YOUR HELP!
If you are able to volunteer with food preparation and/or transport, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be patient with the time it takes to respond to you, as volume is high and staffing is low.
Donate! Due to postponement of our Main Event fundraiser and extra demand on services, we need your financial help. Go to www.samaritanhousesanmateo.org/donate on the Web to donate right now.
WE CANNOT ACCEPT DONATIONS OF UNWRAPPED FOOD OR CLOTHING AT THIS TIME. CURRENTLY, THIS IS WHAT WE ARE ACCEPTING AND URGENTLY NEED:
Cases of water
Toiletries (especially soap and hand sanitizer)
Cleaning products (especially sanitizing wipes)
Mobile Meals to homebound seniors and folks with disabilities will continue as long as we have drivers, but they will not make direct contact with clients.
Dining Room at the Masonic Hall in San Mateo will provide only takeout meals. (These meals will available for pick up from the Samaritan House vehicle outside of the Masonic Hall.)
Food Pharmacies at San Mateo and Redwood City Clinics remain open to regular patients. (These items will be pre-packed for pick up).
Food Pantry in San Mateo is open, but all food will be pre-packaged.
San Mateo and Redwood City Free Clinics: Open on limited basis. Please call first for health screening: Redwood City Clinic: (650) 839-1447; San Mateo Clinic (650) 578-0400. Non-essential medical or dental services are not open at this time.
Client Services in San Mateo, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park: Open on a limited basis for rental, utility and other financial assistance, case management and referrals, including access to Pantry: please call first for health screening and instructions.
San Mateo: (650) 347-3648
East Palo Alto & Menlo Park: (650) 294-4312
Kids Closet: Closed until further notice. If you need diapers, they will be available on a limited basis through the Food Pantry.
Worker Resource Center: Closed until further notice.
VITA Tax Service: Closed until further notice.
GOVERNMENT, SCHOOL AND NONPROFIT AGENCIES HAVING QUESTIONS SHOULD CONTACT LAURA BENT, COO, AT (650) 766-5234.
We will do all we can while the emergency lasts. Please be patient with our limits, as many services have to be managed remotely. We are all in this together!
About the Backgrounder
As San Mateo moves to try to find solutions to the housing crisis, we at the HLC are committed to providing facts and data to help inform our decisions. We are not the only community facing crisis and we can learn from others throughout the country how best to tackle our housing crisis. We hope you find this information useful as San Mateo embarks on its own process of redefinition.
What the coronavirus shutdown means for the Bay Area’s housing crisis
San Francisco Chronicle
As much of the Bay Area’s economy sputters to a halt due to the new coronavirus, housing builders are plugging away — pouring concrete and hanging drywall — even as they impose strict hygiene rules and ask workers to keep a safe distance from one another. On Monday, the six Bay Area counties that issued a shelter-in-place order included housing construction on the list of essential services that are exempt from shutting down. The order allows all housing projects to continue — market rate, affordable, and mixed-use — while construction projects that are strictly commercial must temporarily shut down. “Mayor Breed absolutely believes building housing is an essential function at this point,” said mayoral spokesman Jeff Cretan. “We need that work to continue.”
Coronavirus: California economy faces job losses, Bay Area could withstand jolts, forecasters predict
The Mercury News
The coronavirus imperils California’s record-setting economic boom, which faces the forbidding prospect of job losses this year, although the Bay Area and its vigorous tech sector are poised to withstand employment cuts, according to experts with a closely watched economic forecast released Thursday. “We think that the risk that we will have job losses in California and the United States has gone up significantly,” said Jerry Nickelsburg, director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast, which unveiled its quarterly assessment of the economy on Thursday. “We have had a collapse of oil prices and a collapse of stock prices.” The coronavirus pandemic has unleashed a widening wave of economic woes.
Gavin Newsom moves to protect renters, utility customers as coronavirus spreads
California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order on Monday that empowers local governments to temporarily halt evictions and asks utilities to maintain services during the coronavirus outbreak. Newsom’s order largely supports what local jurisdictions have already undertaken in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento and San Jose. The announcement could help businesses and workers who are already losing income because of the financial chaos caused by the coronavirus. Several Capitol lawmakers have called for a statewide ban on evictions tied to the new coronavirus called COVID-19. Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, introduced plans last week to keep Californians sheltered as long as they prove the coronavirus has affected their household financially. “Before the coronavirus, homelessness was the thing people were talking about,” Ting said. “The last thing we want is the virus to exacerbate the problem.” A second San Francisco Democrat, state Sen. Scott Wiener, introduced legislation last weekend to halt commercial evictions of small businesses.
‘Putting us out on the streets’: Seniors face eviction amid deadly outbreak
When a global pandemic hits a state already gripped by a housing affordability crisis, the impact is both devastating and far-reaching. Those on the margins bear the brunt the hardest, forced to venture out to fight for their housing when public health warnings are discouraging people from social contact. “We’re caught between anxiety and terror,” Angell said. “Some of us don’t have places to go. We’ve been looking and we can’t afford them and the places we can afford are so awful, we and our children would not want us to go there.” In a state with sky-high rents, more than are willing to admit teeter on the edge of housing insecurity. Self-quarantine without the option to work from home, or getting sick without paid sick leave could mean not being able to pay the bills. Fewer work shifts because no one is going out to eat, or a cancelled gig because the governor recommended postponing large gatherings could mean not being able to make rent. “So many of us are just one or two paychecks away from not being able to afford one of our basic needs, which is housing,” said Lupe Arreola, the executive director of Tenants Together.
California moving homeless to hotels, in scramble to prevent coronavirus explosion on the streets
Public health officials are warning Americans to stay home, avoid any unnecessary travel, and limit contact with others as ways to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. But what happens when you don’t have a home? How do you practice social distancing when, at best, the only barrier between you and your neighbor is a nylon tent wall? That’s the question facing the more than 151,000 homeless individuals in California, and one that is vexing lawmakers and public health workers as they try to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among a particularly vulnerable segment of the state’s population. Given the close quarters that many homeless individuals live in on the streets, in encampments and especially in tightly packed shelters, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced during a news conference on Sunday that the state would be prioritizing them as a vulnerable population. While Newsom did not go into details, he did say that state and local authorities would be working to move homeless individuals into hotels and motels purchased by the state in recent days and into 450 state-owned trailers that will be dispatched across the state. San Francisco Mayor London Breed recently issued an emergency declaration that allowed the city to rent 30 recreational vehicles to house any homeless individuals who have tested positive for the coronavirus. The city is also working hotels to find empty hotel rooms where individuals can quarantine and self-isolate.
In expensive coastal cities, where people can pay more than 30% of their income on housing, missing even one paycheck can mean falling behind on rent. And falling behind can mean getting evicted. To protect low-wage workers from these ripple effects, two California cities, San Francisco and San Jose, are advancing legislation that would put a moratorium on evictions for people whose wages have been affected by coronavirus-related closures and work stoppages. Other city measures are geared at providing housing for those who are already homeless in the event of a virus outbreak. Already, Singapore and Italy instituted policies to prevent new homelessness during their coronavirus outbreaks. “There are people who are going to lose income they may have otherwise earned,” said San Francisco Supervisor Dean Preston, who introduced an eviction moratorium bill on Tuesday. “We want to make sure that if they’re losing income in that situation, they’re not losing housing as well.” At a time when many West Coast cities are already experiencing a homelessness crisis, the Covid-19 outbreak has put the significance of home into stark relief. People are being advised to stay inside their apartments and houses to prevent the spread of the virus. But for people who don’t have their own shelter — or who may lose it soon — that won’t be an option. Homelessness has already created a public health disaster in some American cities. The worry is that Covid-19 could only compound it.
Fears mount about impact of coronavirus on homeless
The Washington Post
Homeless experts and some federal housing officials are sounding the alarm that the patchwork of government efforts to address the coronavirus outbreak risks leaving out one group of acutely vulnerable people: the homeless. Housing advocates say they fear an outbreak could occur in large homeless encampments where thousands of people live on the street and lack the ability to self-quarantine, receive medical attention or access cleaning facilities. Shelters across the country are grappling with the enormous challenge of increasing capacity to get more people off the streets and increasing space between the beds within their facilities to reduce the risk of spread, according to housing experts and shelter operators. Homeless outreach workers say they are struggling to get critical information about the virus to homeless people who are without the Internet and, in many cases, unaware of the dangers posed by the coronavirus. At the same time, several large shelters have told federal officials that the volunteers they depend on are staying home at a worrisome rate and cannot be replaced, according to one senior Trump administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal planning.
How You Can Help the Homeless During the Coronavirus Pandemic
As America battles against the coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19), organizations are concerned about how the pandemic will affect homeless people in the country. "Homeless service providers are facing a long list of needs during the COVID-19 outbreak, but it's particularly challenging to know how to best help at this moment," said Nan Roman, president and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. She goes onto explain that there is a wide spectrum of what people who are homeless need ranging from cleaning products to medical support. Organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the HUD Exchange have released guidance on how to help those who are homeless and/or rough sleeping. Whether you want to help as an individual or as part of your community there is advice for everyone.