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Thursday, 5.7.20

COVID-19: The Homeless Problem

COVID-19: The Homeless Problem: how do you follow stay at home orders when you do not have a home? Tamron explores how the crisis is affecting the least fortunate and how everyday heroes are trying to make a difference. With a woman who helps the homeless in Skid Row by passing out essentials, a NYC subway train conductor dealing daily with the homeless who have taken over subway cars, and a family living in a shelter, among others.

DSS Statement from Isaac McGinn (Spokesperson for the Department of Social Services):

“At DSS, we’re using every tool at our disposal to fight this virus and protect our clients, implementing aggressive strategies to connect anyone who needs it to hospitals for care or to isolation for monitoring and recovery. Through these efforts, our essential staff have been able to help nearly 650 New Yorkers resolve their conditions and depart isolation.

At the same time, we’re doing everything we can to keep those we serve out of harm’s way, proactively relocating vulnerable New Yorkers based on risk, beginning with seniors and single adults from larger shelters. Through these strategies, approximately 7000 individuals are now residing in commercial hotel settings, enabling them to more effectively isolate while also increasing social distancing at the shelters from which they moved. And as the Mayor announced last week, we will continue to these strategic relocations as we develop wide-scale testing, moving up to 1,000 individuals to commercial hotel settings each week as needed.

As the City transitions to testing, tracing, and treating, aiming to reduce cases, we’re ensuring our clients are included in this effort. We are beginning our proactive testing program across several shelters, rolling out to additional sites in the coming weeks. This large-scale testing effort will help us systematically identify and isolate any client who is COVID+ for 14 days in commercial hotels, more effectively pinpointing need and targeting our strategies, including for relocations, so that we can limit the disruptions to clients’ lives as we work to drive down cases.

Every day, we’re redoubling our efforts and evolving with this situation to ensure we’re supporting our clients in all that we do––and we continue to explore new strategies and policy responses as this situation unfolds.”