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League of California Cities
Home > News > News Articles > 2020 > April > Cities Support Businesses, Homeless, Seniors, and Boost Virtual Connections During Coronavirus Pande
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Cities Support Businesses, Homeless, Seniors, and Boost Virtual Connections During Coronavirus Pandemic

April 1, 2020
As many Californians settle into a new physical distancing way of life, cities are working hard to provide their communities with access to resources for care, protection, food, and essential services so that their residents may weather through the COVID-19 pandemic together, while apart.
Local leaders statewide are continuing to step up and address these challenges with creative solutions.
Helping Local Businesses
In an effort to help the local business community, the City of San Marcos City Council approved the City of San Marcos COVID-19 Business Sustainability Program on March 24, 2020. The program includes setting  aside up to $3,000,000 of the city’s General Fund Reserves for short-term business loans. 

The City of Santa Monica created an inventive way to connect residents with local businesses that are open and providing essential services. The city developed a multilayer interactive map with categories like food, medical care, and childcare into the Santa Monica Essential Business Services Map.
The City of Gustine is helping residents to do their part to stay at home amidst the COVID-19 situation by assisting local businesses with delivery of restaurant orders and pharmacy prescriptions free of charge.
“Our citizens have done an outstanding job so far in honoring the Governor’s directive and we want to assist them in doing so as we can,” Gustine City Manager Doug Dunford said.
Helping the Homeless
The City of Los Angeles opened five additional emergency shelters at Los Angeles recreation centers for homeless residents, with 500 camper trailers on their way from the state, to help bring people indoors. According to the CDC, an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community could cause illness among people experiencing homelessness, contribute to an increase in emergency shelter usage, and lead to illness and absenteeism among homeless service provider staff. Opening additional emergency shelters and supplying isolated camper trailers will help follow community planning guidelines set forth by the CDC, as a way to protect people experiencing homelessness, homeless service provider staff, and volunteers from this disease.
The City of Culver City is working with Los Angeles County, local businesses, and the Culver City Police Department’s Mental Health Evaluation Team (MHET) to reach out to people currently experiencing homelessness. City staff provide important information about nearby shelters, pass out hand sanitizers, and installed three hand washing stations at the city’s largest encampment.
Senior Resources
In the last two weeks, the City of Culver City boosted services for its seniors. Culver City Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department, through the Senior Nutrition Program and Social Services, converted their on-site meal programs to pick-up and delivery service without impacting the seniors. The meal program has increased the number of meal delivery routes by 400 percent, providing more than 1,500 meals so far, and transferred from the lunch room to the front porch. Volunteers wear protective gloves, adhere to social distancing guidelines, and deliver every meal with a smile. 
The City of Diamond Bar has activated a new phone line to provide Diamond Bar seniors with recorded information about available resources during this COVID-19 crisis. This resource line addresses the concerns most often raised by community members age 60 and older who have called Diamond Bar City Hall during the past couple of weeks. The inquiries include where to obtain meals and how to secure transportation for medical appointments and grocery shopping. The recording is available every day at any time and the information is updated as details become available.
Community Involvement
The City of Monrovia has developed a new webpage called Monrovia Strong, to give residents access to professional development resources, virtual workouts and guided meditation, online story time, and other connections to stay positive.
The city of Mountain View publishes an electronic update three times a week called The Briefing to keep residents informed of the latest news surrounding COVID-19. Mountain View developed a list of how the city has responded over the last 14 days to address the COVID-19 response efforts. Additionally, the city created a fun way to stay positive and engage with neighbors from a distance by inviting residents to join in a Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt, by creating works of art in the daily theme and posting it in their windows for neighbors to see.
Tony Elliot, City of Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation Director, shared a message on ways to help keep families and the community safe by adhering to the shelter-in-place order, physical distancing guidance, and all posted department notices. Elliot shows how families at home can balance work with play, and emphasized the importance of prioritizing self-care through exercise and fresh air nearby your home – rather than driving to public parks and beaches – to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Several organizations are coordinating food services to community members throughout San Diego County. A large drive thru event, highlighted in a video tweet by San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer on March 28, was sponsored by the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank and the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council. The food distribution event allowed for up 1,000 cars to pass through and pick up enough food for 25 meals. People lined up hours before the 9 a.m. start to enter the parking lot of the San Diego County Credit Union Stadium, which shows the arising needs for these services as the coronavirus pandemic continues. The San Diego Food Bank will host a similar event next week at Del Mar Fairgrounds (north county), and a week after that at Grossmont Center (east county).
New Resource Map for Cities
Did you know 9 out of 10 California cities have declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic? Check out the League’s new interactive map that takes you straight into the city’s declaration.
Cities declaring a state of emergency shouldn’t be considered a higher risk for contracting the novel virus than cities that do not declare emergencies. The declarations are intended to give cities and towns the ability to free up funds to prepare for or respond to a disaster or an outbreak. 
As cities work to provide resources and information for their residents, the League continues to update the coronavirus resource and response webpage as a resource for city staff. Daily updates on COVID-19 news, resources, and guidance specifically geared toward local leaders will help local governments navigate the current situation and is updated as new developments occur.

Cities that would like to share the actions they have taken in response to coronavirus can contact the communications team at If you have questions related to COVID-19, please send them to

© League of California Cities