COVID temporary housing for San Francisco's vulnerable populations - insights from PTBi's Jonathan Fuchs

Jonathan Fuchs is the Director of PTBi’s Collective Impact Initiatives and Policy Core and is the Associate Director of the PTBi’s Transdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. 

I have had the privilege of being active in the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s emergency response to the local COVID-19 epidemic by helping to design and implement the city’s containment strategy. This includes the system of community-based isolation and quarantine hotel rooms that were set up in close partnership with the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing and Human Service Agency. It has been a herculean effort by many involved.

We have secured hundreds of rooms specifically for those who are isolating/quarantining, experiencing homelessness on the street, who live shelters, single residency occupancy hotels with shared bathrooms and kitchens, and other crowded living situations. The number of rooms available is growing as additional hotel contracts are signed. There also are over 700 rooms for people experiencing homelessness who are of COVID-unknown but are considered highly vulnerable (age > 60, chronic health conditions, and, yes, pregnancy). We call these SIP hotel rooms (shelter in place). The City is actively contracting with many hotels to increase that number substantially. The first wave of SIP hotel rooms went to highly vulnerable shelter residents and now the focus is on highly vulnerable unsheltered people experiencing homelessness.

Jonathan Fuchs

PTBi's Jonathan Fuchs

If you are a clinical or community provider who would like to refer pregnant persons who are COVID+, have symptoms concerning for COVID, or are close contacts to

a person known to have COVID please contact [email protected] for access to the San Francisco’s Containment Call Center. It is staffed daily from 8 AM - 5 PM. If after hours, a message can be left and the team will get back to the caller the next day.

More Information

Resources to address food insecurity

San Francisco Department of Public Health's COVID-19 alternative housing data visualizer