COVID hotel closures left dozens of San Diegans without housing

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the county of San Diego temporarily housed people with pre-existing medical conditions who were in need of a safe place to shelter at hotels managed by Equus Workforce Solutions. At the start of 2022 the county began to wind the program down. County staff and contractors who were running the hotel were supposed to help guests find permanent housing before they had to leave, but in the final weeks of the program dozens of guests at the hotels were still without a place to live. According to San Diego County, in total, 115 guests left the hotel program into permanent housing. 61 left with a bed at a shelter and six went into other programs. Seventy “self resolved” to unspecified locations.

Starting in 2021, inewsource photojournalist Zoë Meyers followed guests as they left the hotel and as they looked for permanent housing. She witnessed some of the obstacles that keep people from getting into housing and also what helped. She saw the stability that a permanent home can bring someone and also the cycle of instability that can result without one. As San Diego attempts to help a growing community of people experiencing homelessness this intimate look into the lives of those seeking homes can help us move in a more informed way toward solutions.

Coming next week: San Diego County spent more money on security guards than on food for residents quarantined at the Crowne Plaza hotel, and two food vendors had recent health violations, an inewsource investigation found.



Zoë Meyers

Susan Hauck reaches for her walker in her hotel room in San Diego, June 9, 2022.

Susan Hauck is one of a small number of residents who was given a new hotel voucher after the county’s hotel sheltering program ended.

She became unhoused

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