Concord, CA—At a March 19 special meeting to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Concord City Council voted 5-0 to authorize funding to support those most at risk – seniors, unhoused and low-income residents. The Council also agreed on a moratorium on evictions for residential and commercial tenants.
In a teleconference meeting, the Councilmembers authorized the City Manager to spend up to $200,000 to allow the City to provide temporary emergency support to the community’s most vulnerable populations. This money is primarily focused on two programs, food for seniors who are staying in their homes as directed by the County Health Order, and housing for individuals without shelter.
Increasing meal assistance
Mayor Tim McGallian and Vice Mayor Dominic Aliano have been working with Meals on Wheels Diablo Region to increase capacity for food delivery to seniors whom are sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. The concept is to use the Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s central kitchen to create additional meals for delivery to the homes of seniors who self-identify as being in-need of food during the COVID-19 outbreak. Each meal is anticipated to cost approximately $2.50 to prepare. Delivery is anticipated to be performed by volunteers and emergency workers.
Assistance for unhoused families
To support unhoused individuals, including those who are in need of isolation or self-quarantining due to being ill and awaiting test results, the City has proposed an emergency temporary program. The City has identified two motels in Concord and secured a total of 10 rooms that will be provided to homeless families at no cost. In the first few days of the program, six families have been housed.
The City has partnered with Contra Costa County’s Coordinated Outreach Referral and Engagement (CORE) team to identify individuals and families in the greatest need. CORE staff will check in with each person or family assigned a hotel room during their tenure in the emergency shelter program and search for longer-term solutions.
Concord will work with the City of Pleasant Hill to make sure they have access to a portion of the Health Care District funding, as they are part of the joint Concord/Pleasant Hill Health Care District. Any money made available would be proportional to Pleasant Hill’s participation in the Health Care District revenue generation and any housing of unsheltered Pleasant Hill residents would occur within Pleasant Hill’s City limits.
In addition to these measures, the Council also called for a moratorium on evictions of both residential and commercial tenants. The emergency ordinance, which includes a possible moratorium on rent increases, will come before the City Council at a special meeting on March 25.
At its March 19 meeting, the Council also ratified the City Manager’s declaration of a local emergency, which was legally required for the City to continue to operate under the emergency order during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Declaring a local state of emergency allows the City Manager to adjust and reallocate City resources as needed, and it allows the City to access state and federal resources and apply for reimbursement of costs related to responding to this pandemic.