SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) on Wednesday, Sept. 30, announced that the counties of Sacramento and San Luis Obispo are the latest to 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.
Ten counties are now participating in Housing for the Harvest — Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, Kern, Madera, 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. Local administrators of the program can include a county or city agency, a Native American tribe, a non-profit organization, or a philanthropic organization.
“We are very pleased to welcome Sacramento and San Luis Obispo counties to this program,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Housing for the Harvest is an example of how the state and local partners are collaborating creatively to meet the challenges of the pandemic and protect our agricultural workers, their families, and public health.”
Housing for the Harvest will ultimately be made available statewide and provide opt-in housing support for any interested counties or regions. California has received FEMA approval for this program during the COVID-19 pandemic and will seek federal reimbursement for 75 percent of hotel costs.
Sacramento County has partnered with La Familia Counseling Center to administer Housing for the Harvest. In addition to hotel quarantine support, transportation, meals, and wellness checks will be provided. Sacramento has allocated resources for financial assistance and additional support for the family at home.
“This is a great program because it addresses both the health and economic needs of our essential workers,” said Sacramento County Director of Health Services Dr. Peter Beilenson.
“La Familia is happy to be working with the County, the State and our Community Agency Partners to help our essential farmworkers and food processing workers obtain the necessary housing, supports and services they need to do the work that sustains us all. Through this program together we can slow the spread of COVID. ‘Juntos Podemos,’” said La Familia Counseling Center Executive Director Rachel Rios.
“I am grateful to my colleagues and our community partners for their caring support of this essential workforce, and to the State for initiating the Housing for the Harvest Program,” said Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner Chrisandra Flores.
Farmworkers and food processing workers in Sacramento County in need of these services are urged to call 916-452-3601. The personal information gathered through this process will be kept confidential.
San Luis Obispo County
San Luis Obispo County is providing hotel quarantine support through transportation, meals and wellness checks for the Housing for the Harvest Program.
“Due to their unique housing situations, farm and food processing workers often have a more difficult time self-isolating — a key tool for slowing the spread of this disease. We are proud to partner with the State to be able to help these important members of our community keep their families and coworkers healthy and safe,” said San Luis Obispo County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein.
“We were immediately interested in participating in the State’s Housing for the Harvest program to further protect our community. The State will book hotel rooms and the County will provide important services, such as transportation, meals and wellness checks for those who need to self-isolate for 14 days. This program not only helps farm and food processing workers, but it also helps our community’s food suppliers in a particularly challenging time,” said San Luis Obispo County Administrative Officer and Emergency Services Director Wade Horton.
Farmworkers and food processing workers in San Luis Obispo County who are in need of these services are urged to call 805-781-1061 or email EOC-Lodging@co.slo.us. The personal information gathered through this process will be kept confidential.
If a county or community organization is interested in becoming a regional administrator, they may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Housing for the Harvest, visit our website.