Alexandria, VA

Alexandria is putting many of the city’s homeless in hotel rooms for the foreseeable future.

“While many of our hotels are suffering significant losses of their own, they have been willing to partner with the City to assist in the response,” Mayor Justin Wilson told ALXnow. “To ensure that our homeless populations can maintain safe social distancing, these hotel partnerships have been critical.”

On April 1, the city made a contract with the Residence Inn Old Town Alexandria South at Carlyle, to house up to 46 households experiencing homelessness, city spokesman Craig Fifer said.

“Since the situation is evolving, there is no specific end date for this sheltering option at this time,” Fifer said.

The individuals and families being housed are equipped with kitchens, and rooms are attended by hotel housekeeping staff.

Some households are receiving food through ALIVE! and the City’s Frozen Meals Delivery Program, Fifer said.

“Individuals and families experiencing homelessness are often more vulnerable because it may be harder for them to access public health information, food and medicine, shelter, running water and hand sanitizer, face coverings, heath care and other basic needs,” Fifer said. “They are also more likely to have underlying medical conditions due to past difficulty accessing health care.”

The total cost if all rooms are used for the maximum times they’re under contract through June 10 is $143,986.44, according to the city. The monies can come from the City’s fund balance for emergency and disaster response, and may be reimbursable with federal COVID-19 funding.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted a number of the city’s vulnerable groups, and sheltering options are also available via Carpenter’s Shelter at the Charles Houston Recreation Center in Old Town and Alexandria Community Shelter at 2355-B Mill Road.

Photo via Residence Inn Old Town Alexandria South at Carlyle/Facebook

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