As the COVID-19 crisis continues to grip New York City, few are at greater risk than families and individuals experiencing homelessness. Homeless New Yorkers have nowhere to self-quarantine, cannot practice social distancing, and those on the streets lack even regular access to a sink with running water and soap to wash their hands. Furthermore, homeless New Yorkers are far more likely to have the types of underlying medical conditions that result in high mortality rates from COVID-19.
The Coalition has been operating around the clock to meet the needs of homeless New Yorkers during this terrible crisis. The first shelter-in-place order from the Governor on March 20 resulted in many frontline services for homeless people – such as soup kitchens, food pantries, and drop-in centers – suspending operations, which created a tremendous surge in need on the streets that has continued as the pandemic has raged on. Below are just some of the Coalition’s programmatic responses to the crisis: