Advocates Say Homeless Hotel Program Discriminates Against Disabled People

Los Angeles Times: Advocates Say Homeless Hotel Program Discriminates Against Disabled People, August 14, 2020

program that has moved thousands of homeless people into hotel and motel rooms to protect them from the coronavirus discriminates against some of the most needy and vulnerable living on the streets, a group of advocates for elderly and disabled residents has charged.

In a scathing letter sent this month to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and copied to dozens of city and county officials, the advocates alleged that in selecting which people to move into hotel rooms through Project Roomkey, the agency has deliberately excluded those who cannot handle on their own basic activities, such as going to the toilet or getting out of bed.

“It is not a demand letter,” said Patti Prunhuber, senior housing attorney for Justice in Aging, one of the groups that signed the letter. “It is notifying them that we have a serious problem that we need to resolve in a quick and thorough manner, with everybody coming to the table.”