Hotels Expanded for COVID Positive Farm Workers
September 23, 2020
More Hotels in More Counties Are Available for Any Farm and Food Processing Employees Not Able to Isolate At Home Due to COVID-19
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has announced that the counties of Kings, Riverside and Tulare will participate in Housing for the Harvest, a program announced by Governor Gavin Newsom in July to provide temporary hotel housing options for farm and food processing employees to self-isolate if they are COVID-19 positive and do not require hospitalization, or have been exposed and cannot properly self-isolate at home. Six counties are now participating in Housing for the Harvest: Kings, Riverside, Tulare, Santa Barbara, Fresno and San Joaquin.
The state is securing hotel rooms in participating counties, with local governments identifying administrators to manage the program and local community organizations to provide additional services, like meals, wellness checks and in-language assistance. Local administrators will serve as a point of contact for eligible workers. “Counties across the state are stepping up to provide a safe, temporary housing solution to protect agricultural workers who need to isolate,” said CDFA secretary Karen Ross. “These hardworking men and women are on the front lines of the pandemic and it is critical that we protect them, their families, and local communities.”
Housing for the Harvest will ultimately be made available statewide and provide opt-in housing support for any counties or regions that are interested. California has received FEMA approval for this program during the COVID-19 pandemic and will seek federal reimbursement for 75 percent of hotel costs.
Kings County has partnered with Kings Community Action Organization (KCAO) to administer Housing for the Harvest as part of Kings Cares. In addition to hotel quarantine support such as transportation, meals, wellness checks and laundry service, Kings County has allocated resources for financial assistance and additional support for family at home. Farmworkers and food processing workers in Kings County who are in need of these services are urged to visit www.thehealthyharvest.
Riverside County’s Department of Housing, Homelessness Prevention and Workforce Solutions has partnered with the local TODEC Legal Center to manage Housing for the Harvest in the county. The Riverside program will include meals, food, transportation and direct financial assistance of $2,000 for each family participating in the program. Farmworkers or food processing workers in Riverside County who are in need of these services are urged to contact the TODEC Legal Center at (888) 863-3291 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that personal information gathered through this process will be kept confidential.
Tulare County’s program will be administered by Proteus, Inc. in coordination with the county’s Community Care Coalition. Through additional efforts of coalition partners, supplemental services are being offered to support families at home. The Central Valley Community Foundation has formed a regional Healthy Harvest program and will provide additional funding for support services and outreach. These partnerships are crucial to ensure needed outreach and investment in local communities.
Farmworkers and food processing workers in Tulare County who are in need of these services are urged to visit www.thehealthyharvest.