The situation regarding COVID-19 is dire in New York City’s homeless shelters. 239 shelter residents have tested positive as of Sunday, April 5. 12 have died, including 11 unsheltered. 392 are in isolation units, of which there are only 500 available. Yet, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio and New York State Governor Cuomo continue to ignore the recommendations of advocate organizations to swiftly move shelter residents to the over 100,000 vacant hotel rooms in New York City.
Yesterday I heard from someone inside a women’s shelter that people showing symptoms are being ignored. This person had this to say:
“Just saw a woman who looks like she’s wasting away. Haven’t seen her in over a week. She can barely walk. Wearing mask, walking extremely slow. In room with another woman who is sick and hacking her guts out. I told her to call EMS and go to ER.”
According to this person this shelter is continuing to bring in new clients and there is no sanitizer, wipes, gloves or alcohol.
On top of that people are not getting enough food. According to one resident:
“We can’t get deliveries, if places deliver. The corner store raised prices: sandwich that was $8 is now over $10. Not everyone has money. Can’t buy groceries, can’t cook. EVERYONE here is HUNGRY! No deliveries of supplies. Haven’t eaten since this morning at breakfast: plastic container of cheerios. Shelter is rationing food.”
While Toronto, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and London have secured hotel rooms for their homeless populations, New York City continues to endanger our houseless family as more and more get sick. How many more deaths will it take for Mayor DeBlasio and Governor Cuomo to house our homeless?