State officials are considering sheltering homeless people at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, officially known as the Monterey County Fair and Event Center, during the coronavirus crisis, according to Monterey City Manager Hans Uslar.
“The state has reached out to Monterey County Fairgrounds,” he said in a press briefing on March 23. “It’s our understanding that a solution will be forthcoming shortly from the [Gov Gavin Newsom’s] office.”
The California Department of Food and Agriculture contacted the fairgrounds last week and said the state Office of Emergency Services would follow up about a possible shelter. The OES has yet to call, according to fairgrounds CEO Kelly Violini.
Newsom announced over the weekend that the state is making plans to use hotels, motels and other facilities for sheltering people who have no roof over their heads. Uslar had previously shared with local media that local hotels and motels are being contacted.
Uslar added that the city does not have authority over the decision on setting up a shelter at the fairgrounds.
Occupying 22 acres in Monterey, the fairgrounds are owned by the state. The venue has been used to host various annual music shows. In addition to stages, the fairgrounds features kitchens, seven halls and an RV park.