Extreme Summer Heat is Endangering Homeless People Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

As a “heat dome” descends on much of the country and local governments scramble to provide safe refuges, concern grows over the impact of a novel disease that has ‘totally demolished the homeless people.’

Weeks ago, Keith Britton was staying in a homeless shelter in Brooklyn, New York. But others in the facility weren’t following social distancing guidance or wearing masks, and after his roommate contracted coronavirus, he decided he’d be safer on the streets.

“The worst thing that could have happened was this virus,” Britton said while sitting on cardboard at the edge of Manhattan’s Union Square on a Tuesday afternoon, a sign balanced between his legs. “It just totally demolished the homeless people.”