In a recent effort to keep people off the streets of San Francisco, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an emergency ordinance to place 560 more homeless people in shelters over the next two months.

The regulation At the meeting of the Supervisory Board on Tuesday, only an ongoing plan was formalized.

It will extend the federally reimbursed program that rents hotel rooms to around 2,000 vulnerable homeless people, fills even more hotel rooms and provides permanent accommodation for those who moved into hotels before November 15 last year and are taking part in a renovation program, though People can refuse it if they find it less appealing than their current situation.

“I think it will save lives,” said supervisor Matt Haney of the legislation on Tuesday. “This means we have opportunities to get people off the street and into the house at a time when COVID is still very widespread, very few homeless people have been vaccinated and the risks are enormous.”

San Francisco started one Mobile program last month to vaccinate some of its 17,000 homeless people Although availability depends on vaccine supplies, the Department of Health said.

The shelter-in-place hotel program launched last year to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by pulling vulnerable homeless people out of meeting shelters and off the streets faced an uncertain future late last year. With more federal reimbursements flooding the city coffers under the new administration, Haney said the city is starting admission again.

The city’s COVID Command Center said in a statement Monday that it welcomed the opportunity to continue protecting thousands of vulnerable people in hotels during the pandemic. While the new plan is expanding to hundreds more, the city says the total may be slightly lower depending on how many people are being referred from hospital and road partners, how quickly housing and other exits are set up, and what rooms are cleaned or repaired need to be during sales.

Meanwhile, supervisors and advocates are urging the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing to also prioritize the permanent housing of more than 600 people on the street who were eligible before the pandemic but were disadvantaged compared to hotel residents.

“Just because you were placed in a hotel doesn’t mean you should cross the line for permanent supportive accommodation,” said supervisor Ahsha Safaí. who sponsored a resolution calling on the city to buy more hotelsp. “We should focus on working with providers out there and the people who have the most immediate needs by providing them with supportive housing.”

Abigail Stewart-Kahn, interim director of the homelessness department, told regulators last week that the city currently has 328 vacant units, with 629 more to come. She said the current “compromise” is that under the governing body’s ordinance, the city must ensure that there are still enough units for hotel residents to seek refuge on site. The city has made a pledge not to kick anyone out of hotels that moved in before November 15, 2020 and are participating in a renovation program.

But around 70% of residents offered permanent supportive accommodations at the renovated 232-unit Granada hotel, which the state bought for $ 45 million last year, and turned down seats, Stewart-Kahn said. She added it was “understandable” as shelter-in-place hotels have en-suite bathrooms and three meals a day, while the Granada has shared bathrooms and charges 30% of a resident’s income as rent.

If hotel residents turn down seats, the city can turn to other eligible people, she said.

Of the more than 2,100 people who have stayed in hotels, 145 have been relocated, 96 of them in permanent support accommodation. according to city data. Of the remaining 309 who left the company, 105 were voluntarily left for various reasons, 44 were asked to leave the company for non-compliance, and 26 died. Others ended up in shelters, nursing homes, hospitals or prisons.

The city has filled 71% of these vacancies. There are currently almost 1,700 guests.

According to federal guidelines, priority will be given to those over the age of 65, infected with COVID-19, or exposed to COVID-19, or suffering from a high-risk condition – a hodgepodge category that includes smoking but not asthma. The rooms will also be open to a much wider range of people, including homeless people living in urban shelters or being released from prison.

Marlin Tanner, 70, said he ended up at a shelter-in-place hotel after being picked up as a victim of a drive-by shooting General in his car at Hunters Point, San Francisco. Tanner said he had diabetes, glaucoma, and lower back pain.

“I loved it, especially when I came here and walked into the room and it was just me,” said Tanner.

The relief of having your own room with a bathroom and mini fridge is tempered by the uncertainty of not knowing how long to stay. Tanner submitted his papers three weeks ago for permanent housing, but he has not yet been offered an internship. He dreams of having an apartment with one bedroom and a garden so that he can get a dog.

Recent research shows that hotels were an effective public health response during the pandemic. Four city-run hotels where more than 1,000 homeless people and other isolated or quarantined people eased the burden on hospitals from March to May last year. a study published Tuesday researchers from the Department of Public Health, UCSF and San Francisco General reported in the medical journal JAMA.

The similar shelter-in-place hotel program had a rocky history. The city tried to end the program late last year against fierce opposition from regulators, with uncertainty over how long the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would continue to reimburse 75% of its eligible costs. The Biden government announced earlier this year that FEMA would reimburse 100% of the eligible costs by October. Part of the city’s surprising surplus this fiscal year.

Still, 15% of the program costs – mainly the coordination of care – cannot be reimbursed, according to the data controller’s office. The city has also placed people in hotels that are not covered by FEMA guidelines, such as: B. People between 60 and 65 years of age and people under 60 years of age who suffer from certain medical and psychological conditions and who work with a case officer.

The city has already raised $ 22.8 million from other sources to fill the program’s funding gap.

The San Francisco Chronicle employee Meghan Bobrowsky contributed to this report.

Mallory Moench is a contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle. E-mail: Twitter: @mallorymoench