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Dear HSH:

HESPA and our temporary shelter community partners need
leadership from HSH now more than ever. The timeline must be
now: we’re calling for quick, decisive action from HSH and DPH in
response to Shelter Provider Guidance 2020-03-23:


• We simply do not have time for a single-site pilot to
“perfect the implementation of the screening tool.” We
need to roll out what we have to the entire system now
and adjust it as we go. You will have our collaboration and
partnership, and we should in turn have collaboration and
partnership from DPH: we need the 24/7 DPH COVID-19
phone number now (not when the screening tool rolls out),
and we need a DPH contact—with a team—dedicated to
supporting our shelter system. 
• We also urgently need DPH to provide a response protocol
for when screened shelter guests show symptoms and/or
test positive for COVID-19, particularly in congregate
shelters. Will the shelter be quarantined and when? Who
will staff a quarantined shelter? Will symptomatic/positive
shelter guests be moved (what about high-risk guests)? If
so, how will shelters be utilized? How will the protocols be
communicated to those most impacted by them, including
shelter staff and guests?
• Thank you for ending new temporary shelter reservations.
We need immediate individual-room placements until we
have a room for every shelter, overnight drop-in, and
congregate-program guest, including those denied services.
We must use hotel rooms to reduce inflow to shelters and
other congregate programs—we can’t have any more
unhoused people sheltering in place—as well as create
outflow from shelters, overnight drop-in centers, etc., per
social distancing guidelines. We need to prioritize hotel
rooms for those at highest risk for infection and/or those
least able to self-isolate, and we need a deep pool of
emergency flex funds immediately available to program
teams. These must be pre-approved for disbursement: we
have people whose crises cannot wait for case-by-case
• We must provide food assistance as we relocate residents
of the essential service system to individual hotel rooms;
this should include distribution of packaged nonperishable
items as well as delivery of warm, individually wrapped
meals from local restaurants.
• We need personal protective equipment (PPE) for all
essential services staff, and we ask HSH to use all available
networks and relationships to source and crowdsource:
touchless thermometers, masks, gloves, sanitizer, wipes,
• We also ask DPH to include minimum standards of PPE in
screening and response protocols.
• We need DPH and HSH to mobilize practical, on-the-ground
training for workers across our essential services system.
Onsite training would promote dialogue between trainers
and essential workers, as opposed to presentation formats.
• We need HSH to guarantee reimbursement for staffing
costs, including salaries, overtime, and incentive pay
increases for onsite workers across our essential services
system. For incentive pay, we propose at least time-and-a-
half for essential front-line workers and other staff working
directly with clients, retroactive to March 15th.
Additionally, we need to meet essential workers’
transportation needs; this should include taxi and parking
vouchers as well as the creation of bus lines that trace
BART routes and run in coordination with day, swing, and
overnight shifts.
• We also need HSH and DPH to add healthcare worker
capacity across our essential services system.
Thank you for your consideration and support.

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