More reports come in every day of high rates of COVID-19 in homeless shelters, and of homeless people dying on the streets.
As the COVID-19 public health crisis spreads across American cities, housing advocates and providers have noted the difficulty — at times the impossibility — of adhering to public health edicts while homeless.
Directing people without shelter to “shelter in place,” or those who sleep head-to-toe in congregate shelters to stay six feet away from other people it’s futile.
Equally difficult, but less discussed, is the mandate to wash your hands frequently if you have no regular access to running water.
The consequences of the coronavirus outbreak for people experiencing homelessness have been devastating. But even as these consequences become better understood, the process of redirecting scarce resources is often slow.
Public health guidance thus relies on the notion that people visiting grocery stores, pharmacies, or even food pantries will be able to wash their hands after they return. But people without shelter are also people without bathrooms.
Mass closures of public buildings have suddenly, and perhaps inadvertently, done away with the only resources some people can access to wash their hands and faces.
Until these spaces can be reopened safely, it is urgent to replace the hygiene resources they provided to bring the basic sanitation we take for granted to homeless communities.
We cannot successfully flatten the curve while a huge portion of the population remains totally unprotected.
Masking up to stop coronavirus isn’t so easy for the homeless community either. Getting even a makeshift mask — and keeping it clean enough to be sanitary — is difficult for many. Masks remain scarce for homeless people.
You can help extend access to hygiene and sanitation to the families experiencing homelessness by providing them with Hygiene Kits and Personal Protection Kits with Masks.
Our Personal Protection Kit with Face Mask is ready to distribute and perfect for school, church outreach, community outreach, donations, homeless shelter, disaster relief, emergency readiness kits and so much more.
You can distribute these kits to the homeless people in your area or you can organize a Crowd Fund with an Amazon Wishlist and have us ship the kits directly to the organization of your choice.
It’s time to extend access to the hygiene and sanitation we now rely on to protect us to the most vulnerable in our midst.