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Kings County housing program ends, little to no options for alternatives

Posted by Sara Cooper | Aug 08, 2023 | 0 Comments

(Photo: KMPH FOX26 Photojournalist Michael Garcia)

On July 31st, a homeless shelter in Kings County called Holiday Lodge had closed due to the ending of funding from Project Roomkey, the $846 million permanent housing program that started back during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

Housing 386 people with $7.7 million given to the county in Central California for two projects creating long-term homes for many low-income individuals in the area, the program was intended to be temporary.

According to MSN, by Monday, personal belongings were spotted piled up outside of the lodge's rooms as residents had to move out. “I'm her care provider. She has nowhere to go, a lot of people here have nowhere to go. You know, this is why they started the program to help homeless people and they're throwing them back to the street," said Diane Flores, a relative to a resident staying at the lodge. 

Kings County Administrative Officer Kyria Martinez responded that everyone residing at the shelter under the program were notified about the July 31st closure timely and accordingly along with given substantial resources for utilization after departure.

“The human service agency has worked with residents throughout the three-year program to actually find permanent affordable housing. We have successfully placed 95 individuals into permanent housing from the project room key," she said. 

However, this does not account for everyone, with 10 being displaced with no known options, 12 relocated with friends or family members, and 18 persons continuing to reside at Holiday Lodge under a different housing program.

The termination of Kings County's Project Roomkey operations includes final phases of construction of the two sites that were funded for by the state, Triangle Courtyard to be completed in December 2023, and Sunrise Apartments with an expectancy to be completed in April 2024.

The combined projects will also include an additional 46 permanent housing until that would occupy up to 70 individuals.

One testimony shared by the county's news release stated, “I would not have been able to regain custody of my children without the help of the Project Roomkey staff and my CPS case worker. They gave me a second chance at life with my children. All I needed was someone to talk to and believe in me. I thank them all.”

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