UPDATE: Bakersfield City Council upholds appeal to block temporarily housing homeless at Rosedale Inn

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UPDATE (8:30 p.m.) — The Bakersfield City Council voted unanimously to uphold the appeal filed by the Bakersfield Heart Hospital against a project that would have housed homeless people at the Rosedale Inn who are considered high-risk for contracting COVID-19.

Representatives for the Bakersfield Heart Hospital said Project Roomkey at the Rosedale Inn would add to problems already coming from the hotel, including drug use, vandalism and theft. The appeal also said housing homeless people at the hotel would have risked the safety of patients and workers at the Bakersfield Heart Hospital.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Even before the pandemic, the Bakersfield City Council was grappling with different ways to support the homeless community.

Tonight council members will debate how to help the homeless most at risk of contracting COVID-19.

It will end with a public hearing on a project that could temporarily house the homeless deemed at risk for COVID 19 in the Rosedale Inn.

It’s called Project Roomkey. The goal is to prevent the spread of COVID while also protecting those most vulnerable.

Those against the project argue it will bring more homeless people to the community and lead to rising violence and crime.

Representatives from Heart Hospital will speak tonight. They’re petitioning against the project for fear of patient and employee safety.

But operators of the Original Hacienda Grill across the street say they hope the project benefits the homeless community. They aren’t worried about business.

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