Unhoused people have high risk of contracting coronavirus, too
On Wednesday, I shared a meeting with my fellow board members from the National Coalition for the Homeless. I listened and heard the various reports from around the country about the community planning for the homeless happening. In many places, it isn’t. Those living unhoused are not being discussed publicly at all and that has to change. People living unhoused and on the street and in encampments are at high risk of contracting the coronavirus. Many of those folks are working poor people with nowhere to go and no reprieve in sight.
This is a pandemic and should be addressed for all levels of society. HUD has been gracious in saying no evictions can occur in Public Housing during this time, but the people I am referring to are not housed at all.
Shelters are filled to capacity and experiencing real hardship right now because people aren’t bringing food like they did because uncertainty is reigning and they are trying to make it last. For those restaurants that are closed, please contact your local shelter or feeding group; that food could be the difference between someone getting a decent meal or going to bed hungry and homeless. For those of you in Southern Indiana that would be the Catalyst Rescue Mission at 812-285-1197; the Clark County Youth Shelter; the Center for Lay Ministries; HOPE Inc.; the Bicknell Park Feeding Group; Exit Zero; Bliss House; the BreakAway; Serenity House; and Jerry’s Place, to name a few that are probably feeling the pinch right now.
While that would be one solution, we need to understand those who are unhoused (and that is a few hundred people in Southern Indiana) have no place to social distance. The streets are where they live, eat, and exist. How is that safe for us or for them? What have we become when we think of ourselves but not of those who have nothing? We are called to do more. There are empty schools right now, there are large tents that could be set up as emergency shelters, and there are many who would like to see those solutions for those living unhoused.
While we are doing a stimulus package, could we not include vouchers for those living in the streets or allocations to housing programs for emergency placements? Please, in the name of compassion and community, contact your legislators, your government officials, and your ministers to assist those most in need. Today, at this time, we need to be one with our entire citizenry.
Executive director of Haven House Services Inc.
Board member, National Coalition for the Homeless
Vital ICE app helps save lives
Grayson Funeral Home, Charlestown, has invested back into the community in order to promote the saving of lives. The funeral home recognized a very unique opportunity to assist local first responders through an ingenious marketing initiative that could help save lives. The funeral home asks that you download the Vital ICE (In Case of Emergency) app, from either the Apple App Store or Google Play, for your smart phone and enter in the code: #1949.
Grayson Funeral Home is making this potentially life-saving app available for free to download in the community as a way of showing their gratitude for allowing them to serve the community. They ask that you please take just a few minutes to download the Vital ICE app and fill in the information so that you are prepared in case of an emergency. This app is available to the entire Charlestown community, regardless of age, so do not pass up this great life-saving opportunity. Questions about the app can be answered at www.vitalboards.com/vitalice.
In the event of an emergency, first responders can use the Vital ICE app to retrieve the user’s vital information. This information can then be easily taken on the ambulance to the hospital, or sent directly to the hospital from the Vital ICE app, where ER staff can further access this critical information. Remember, time is of the essence when saving lives!
Owner/CEO, Vital Ice