A New Tactic To Fight Coronavirus: Send Homeless From Jails To Hotels

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This story originally appeared on The Marshall Project. It has been republished with permission.

California and New York City are booking hotels so homeless people released from jail don’t accelerate the pandemic. Pictured: A homeless encampment in East Bay, Oakland, July 2017. (Thomas Hawk)

Two hotels near the airport in Oakland are receiving unusual guests now that coronavirus has eviscerated tourism: homeless people being released from jail.

It’s part of an experiment to provide government-paid hotel rooms to homeless people—including those released from jail under emergency orders—in an effort to limit the spread of the virus both behind bars and in this state’s sprawling homeless encampments. California and New York appear to be the first states trying it.

“We are doing things that we’ve never done before,” said Sgt. Ray Kelly, the sheriff’s…

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