The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) launched a new initiative called “Hotels for Hope” to help find lodging for first responders and health-care workers as the COVID-19 crisis grows.
The program has identified over 6,500 properties close to healthcare facilities to offer temporary housing to the health community and first responders. The hotels will work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and local emergency management and public health agencies.
To help match the properties with federal, state, and local governments, AHLA will create a national “Hotels for Hope” database. Local, state and federal government officials will be able to search willing properties based on geographic location.
“As an industry of people taking care of people, the hotel industry is uniquely positioned to support and help strengthen our communities and first responders who are on the frontlines of dealing with this ongoing public health crisis,” AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers said. “Hotels have always been an active member of our local communities, and this time is no different.”
Examples of hotels partnering with local and state officials are being reported in Chicago and California, and more efforts are expected in the coming days and weeks, including New York City and Texas.
For example, the city of Chicago has reached agreements with local hotel operators to provide more than 1,000 hotel rooms for those exposed to or mildly ill with COVID-19 but don’t need hospital care but a place to safely quarantine or isolate themselves if they cannot be at home.
“The number of hotels wanting to be part of the program is growing by the hour,” said Michael Jacobson, CEO and president of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association. “Our hotels are answering the call to action, and they want to be helpful to the city and the state.”
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