O’Melveny Worldwide

O’Melveny Helps California Shield Homeless From COVID-19 Pandemic

May 4, 2020


LOS ANGELES—May 4, 2020—In an effort to help protect California’s homeless from COVID-19, O’Melveny represented the State in an innovative agreement with the Motel 6 chain that will provide thousands of rooms to this vulnerable population.

The agreement is part of the California initiative Project Roomkey, which has made 10,974 hotel and motel rooms statewide available for the homeless.

Under the deal drafted and negotiated by the state with the assistance of O’Melveny, Motel 6 will make available many of its corporate-owned locations in California, effective immediately. If all locations are used, the agreement will add 5,025 rooms to those already under county control. This portfolio includes 47 different hotels in 19 counties around the state.

“We need to do more—and faster—of course, but there’s no doubt California is leading the way when it comes to treating our homeless population with the compassion and urgency this moment demands,” Governor Newsom said earlier this week of Project Roomkey.

As Newsom noted, the effort is critical to protecting public health by isolating the medically vulnerable, reducing the shelter population to promote social distancing, and slowing the spread of COVID-19, all of which helps flatten the curve.

“It’s been a privilege to play a role in Project Roomkey, which serves as a model of good government,” said O’Melveny partner Greg Thorpe, who led the transaction.

“We are proud to help California protect the health of its most at-risk residents in a way that safeguards their dignity and human rights,” O’Melveny partner Nancy Mitchell added.

O’Melveny previously represented California in two complex transactions that quickly expanded the State’s capacity to treat COVID-19 patients.

About O’Melveny

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Christopher Rieck
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
+1 212 326 2218