City, council leaders making extra efforts to house homeless during COVID-19 outbreak

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- City and county leaders say as of Monday, they've made 300 beds available and have already filled 200.

Now, they're working on wash stations and hygiene kits to hand out.

"What do you do when your city has a crisis within a crisis," says Director of Strategic Initiatives H. Spees.

County and city leaders announced protections Wednesday for the area's most vulnerable, and it only starts with freeing up beds.

"The governor and state gave us $2 million; $1 million to the city, half a million to the county and half a million to the continuum of care," Spees said,

That money is being used to house homeless and securing resources.

'Here, we are taking a regional approach when it comes to our homeless," says Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig.

Fresno City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria, who was appointed to the governor's statewide task force, addressed the state dollars being made available to shelter the homeless while supporting social distancing measures.

"I'm proud that our council supported a moratorium on evictions because what we want to prevent is adding more people to those homeless numbers," Soria said.

City and county leaders are working with hotel and motel owners who are interested in opening their doors to the homeless populations.

"Now that FEMA has been activated, there are a couple different reimbursement possibilities that are there," Magsig said.

Efforts to place wash stations and distribute hygiene kits are in the works.

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