Last Friday a man who describes himself on Twitter as “Formerly homeless addict in #recovery advocating for the #truth about homelessness and drug addiction. Faith, Hope and Love. SF Native. Tweets are my own.” tweeted to the city.
He wrote: “I just found out that homeless placed in hotels in SF are being delivered Alcohol, Weed and Methadone because they identified as an addict/alcoholic for FREE. You're supposed to be offering treatment. This is enabling and is wrong on many levels. @SF_DPH @sfbos @LondonBreed"
The city's department of public health confirmed the report on Twitter this week.
“These harm reduction based practices, which are not unique to San Francisco, and are not paid for with taxpayer money, help guests successfully complete isolation and quarantine and have significant individual and public health benefits in the COVID-19 pandemic.”
San Francisco fell far short of securing the more than 8,000 hotel rooms that city supervisors hoped to lease to house homeless and other at-risks populations needing to quarantine or socially distance themselves during the coronavirus pandemic.
The city had set a deadline to lease 8,250 hotel rooms for the homeless, frontline workers and those living in densely populated apartment buildings.
While there was no formal punishment for failing to lease the 8,250 hotel rooms, the lack of rooms is a blow for a city that even before the outbreak of COVID-19 was struggling to handle a growing crisis in homelessness.
Newsom said then that a new agreement with the Motel 6 hotel chain would provide an additional 5,025 hotel rooms at 47 locations in 19 counties.
“Today marks an important milestone for our efforts to protect very vulnerable homeless individuals from COVID-19, and to protect our hospitals more broadly from surges that challenge our capacity and stress our system,” the governor said.
Newsom made the announcement outside a Motel 6 in San Jose, where he touted his "Project Roomkey" initiative.
The federal government has agreed to pay 75 percent of costs associated with housing some people experiencing homelessness. The project covers people who test positive or may have been exposed to COVID-19, older homeless people and those with underlying health conditions.