“We had near-record homelessness before this began,” said Giselle Routhier, policy director for the Coalition for the Homeless in New York. “We still have that homelessness crisis now as new people become homeless as a result of the pandemic.”
A pandemic poses a daunting situation for people who lack stable shelter, access to proper hygiene, and basic food supplies. Whether they live in shelters or on the streets in tent camps, there’s no way for them to practice social distancing to slow down the spread of the virus.
The inequities people face has only gotten more prominent since the pandemic, said Jennifer Friedenbach, director of San Francisco’s Coalition on Homelessness.