PITTSBURG, CA — A 174-room motel in Pittsburg now sheltering homeless Contra Costa residents at high risk from the coronavirus will become a permanent service hub to help county residents transition into stable living situations, thanks to a $21.5 million state grant.
Contra Costa Health Services rented rooms at the Motel 6 at 2101 Loveridge Road in Pittsburg to provide temporary housing through the state of California's Project Roomkey program, which funded hotel rooms for residents who could not effectively isolate themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic because they had lost their housing.
The county announced Wednesday that the state's follow-up program, called Homekey, will commit $17.4 million toward the purchase and renovation of the property by the county.
An additional $4.17 million from the state will go toward staffing and operating the former motel as temporary housing for county residents experiencing homelessness. While staying at the CARE Center, residents will have access to onsite health care and behavioral health services, as well as meals and assistance connecting with the services they need to regain housing.
"There is a critical need for this project in our community," said Contra Costa Supervisor Federal Glover, whose district includes the site.
In January, there were only 20 shelter beds available in East County for more than 500 people living outside, mostly in Antioch and Pittsburg. The county’s most recent homeless point-in-time count showed that 33 percent of residents living outside in Contra Costa were in East County, compared to 27 percent recorded there during the 2019 count.
CCHS will add the new East County CARE Center and interim housing program to its network of homeless service centers, shelters and outreach programs, helping to address an acute shortage of those services in the area.
"This is a great start toward the building services and resources East County needs to address homelessness," Glover said.