How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted homeless services?

During the pandemic, the city will not be abating or moving homeless encampments with the exception of immediate health, safety and fire concerns.  The City has made some provisions to increase access to hygiene facilities. 

Portable Hand washing Units for the Unhoused 

The City of Richmond received 6 temporary portable restroom and hand washing facilities throughout the city to promote the public health for the homeless community. The locations are as follows:

•    Rydin Road (north of Central Avenue)

•    Civic Center-Main Library & Auditorium

•    GRIP - 165 22nd Street

•    San Pablo Ave & Richmond Greenway

COVID-19 Emergency Housing For Unsheltered Community 

In March the governor’s office announced that it would be providing support to local communities to help provide emergency housing for the homeless population. The purpose of the effort is to limit the exposure of the unsheltered community to COVID-19, particularly seniors and those with pre-existing conditions. Contra Costa County received the emergency funding from the state. Funding is limited and cannot house every person impacted.

In compliance with health officers recommendation to empty the shelters and congregate living facilities there have been two facilities identified in the City of Richmond by Contra Costa County Health, Housing and Homeless Services. The identified locations are the Courtyard, by Marriott, and the Sure Stay by Best Western.

The Marriott location will house clients from the Bay Area Rescue mission residents, some from Brookside Shelter and some from GRIP’s warming center. Individuals and families who will be occupying these rooms are from west county and considered high risk based on their age or health condition. GRIP will be the on-site provider and food vendor. The clients are not those who have tested positive for COVID-19. The county is providing testing to those in congregate living facilities.

For  more information, visit Contra Costa Health Services’ website.

Additional Local Homelessness Resources

•    Unsheltered individuals are currently exempt from the shelter in place order.

•    View CCHS’ Coronavirus and Homelessness Frequently Asked Questions

•    Healthcare for the Homeless

•    CCHS Guidance for Those at High Risk

•    Link to CC Health, Housing, and Homeless Services

•    Supervisor John Gioia’s Food Distribution Site Map for Contra Costa County


•    Help for the Unhoused

  •  If you know someone in immediate need for homeless and housing services please contact 211 to reach the CORE Team. The City of Richmond and San Pablo have a CORE homeless outreach team to add staffing to the county efforts to serve the unhoused.

•    Download PDF summary of resources

Local Rental and Eviction Resources

•    City of Richmond Issues Supplemental Order Prohibiting Rent Increases and/or Evictions for Residential and Commercial Rental Units: The Director of Emergency Services issued a Supplemental Order, effective April 27, 2020, which extends the prohibition on certain types of evictions to commercial tenants and also prohibits rent increases on residential properties with more than one dwelling unit that were constructed before February 1, 1995 (including LIHTC properties) through May 31, 2020, or any extension of the local emergency

  • § NOTE: restrictions on rent increases do not apply to properties with one dwelling unit on one parcel, permitted dwelling units constructed after February 1, 1995, Project-Based Section 8, Section 202, and Public Housing Units). Please contact the Rent Program at 510-234-RENT or if you have any questions about whether a unit is subject to the rent increase restrictions.

•    Revised Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Rentals: What Richmond Tenants and Landlords Need to Know Fact Sheet (English & Spanish)

•    Access the Letter Template for Tenants to Inform Landlords of Their Inability to Pay Rent Due to the Financial Impacts of COVID-19: English | Spanish

•    If you have any questions about the Supplemental Order, please contact the Rent Program at 510-234-RENT(7368) or to speak with a Housing Counselor. For updates, visit their website

State of California’s Housing and Homeless Information

•    Under the Governor’s Executive Order, through May 31, 2020, evictions related to non-payment of rent for COVID-19-related economic hardships have been halted. If you are financially impacted by COVID-19 and can’t pay your full rent, make sure to let your landlord know in writing no later than seven days after the rent is due, and save documentation as proof. Learn of other financial assistance.

•    Many utility providers are not shutting off services due to non-payment. Check with the California Public Utilities Commission for more information.

•    The Governor has also reached an agreement with financial institutions to give relief to people who can’t pay their mortgages as a result of COVID-19. California is placing a moratorium on foreclosure sales or evictions for 60 days.

•    California Awards $100 Million to Cities, Counties and Continuums of Care to Help People Experiencing Homelessness During COVID-19 Pandemic

•    Funding Formula Breakdown

•    View more at

Show All Answers

1. What does homelessness impacting the unsheltered community look like in the City of Richmond and what role does the City play in impacting it?
2. What outreach services does Richmond offer to the unhoused?
3. What can I do if I see someone in a situation of homelessness needing services?
4. What if a homeless person is a minor?
5. What if a homeless person is not in the City of Richmond, but elsewhere in Contra Costa County?
6. What if someone needs resources to stay in their current housing?
7. What is the Homeless Taskforce, what are the Taskforce priorities, and when does it meet?
8. What success have we seen in Richmond?
9. Does Richmond receive state and federal funding to impact homelessness?
10. How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted homeless services?