Former Best Western now interim housing for homeless in Long Beach

A former Best Western hotel in Long Beach has been converted into interim housing for homeless individuals who are transitioning from living on the streets.

Video Transcript

- Well dozens of people transitioning to permanent housing solutions in Long Beach this morning. As our Marc Cota-Robles shows us, the city has converted a former Best Western Hotel into 102 rooms of interim housing.

MARC COTA-ROBLES: This former Best Western Hotel on Long Beach Boulevard is helping to change lives, getting formerly unhoused people off the streets into stability.

YVETTE AHLSTROM: Project Home Key, it's what we haven't done in the past. It's what is the right thing to do. It's the next step towards permanent housing.

MARC COTA-ROBLES: Nearly a year ago, Governor Newsom announced $600 million in grant funding for the state's Home Key program. The 102 rooms here will serve as temporary housing for people transitioning to permanent housing solutions in Long Beach. The Illumination Foundation based in Orange is helping operate the site. Rose Wolfrum is the program director.

ROSE WOLFRUM: We have staff here 24/7 who are able to really be just a general support to the participants who are residing here.

MARC COTA-ROBLES: People approved to stay here are 65 and older and/or have an underlying health condition that puts them at a higher risk for COVID-19. Services include daily meals, mental and physical health services, and transportation to essential appointments. Wolfrum sharing with us a success story just two days into a man's stay.

ROSE WOLFRUM: He really feels that he's just been able to take an exhale. He said, I've slept more than I've slept in years just because I had a place to lay my head. And that is really the dignity that everybody deserves.

MARC COTA-ROBLES: Marc Cota-Robles, ABC 7 Eyewitness News.