Smile-Worthy Moments from Big Cities

By Montecito Journal   |   April 23, 2020

L.A. hotel opens its doors to the homeless during COVID-19.

Communities around the world are under shelter in place orders, but staying home is not an option for homeless populations. A Los Angeles hotel is hoping to protect the health of its community’s most vulnerable residents by opening their doors to those living on the streets.

The hotel, which chose to remain anonymous for privacy and safety concerns, is located in West Los Angeles and its rooms usually go for $400 a night. It began taking in residents the first week of April and by last week, it had filled half its occupancy. The hotel is the first in a series which will collaborate with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to get homeless individuals, specifically at-risk individuals, off the streets and out of overcrowded shelters.

The initial plan is to offer housing to homeless populations for at least 90 days. The team will reassess housing need and availability as the pandemic progresses. We shared a story on our website last week about hotels in cities housing nurses and doctors with high exposure to COVID-19. This is another great solution for using existing infrastructure to protect vulnerable populations during the pandemic.

Some of the world’s most polluted cities are breathing fresh air once again.

The screenshots began to circulate on Delhi WhatsApp groups last week, captioned with varying expressions of disbelief. Having checked the air quality index, most could not believe their eyes. Could it really be that Delhi’s pollution levels now fell into the category of “good”?

Delhi is ranked as the most polluted capital in the world, with air pollution sometimes reaching life-threatening levels. But the now two-week-long nationwide lockdown has brought not only the freshest air the capital has breathed in decades but also brought the blue skies.

The lockdown silver lining also goes beyond these borders, with toxic megacities such as Bangkok, Beijing, São Paulo, and Bogotá, where varying coronavirus restrictions have been imposed, all reported an unprecedented decline in pollution.

This positive environmental impact of the pandemic has also reached Los Angeles. The city is experiencing its longest stretch of good air quality since 1995, as highway traffic has dropped 80 percent throughout the entire state of California.

As we continue to battle with the pandemic, these unintended positive outcomes provide a nice glimpse into the benefits of moving our societies into a sustainable future.


You might also be interested in...