Pull sickest and most vulnerable off the street


She knows San Francisco’s program managers are planning to radically expand the number of homeless beds in the city soon, but she’s afraid that by then she’ll catch the coronavirus at the very place that’s supposed to protect her from the dangers of living outside. Hers is a fear rippling through homeless populations — and the people working to help them — throughout the Bay Area as officials scramble to add shelter spaces to isolate the sick and safely harbour those most at risk.
get a shelter bed during the crisis.“Oh my god, I don’t know how we’re supposed to be protecting ourselves,” Richmond, 27, said as she took her pitbull/pointer mix, San Francisco News Duchess, out of the Navigation Center at Fifth and Bryant streets for air the other day. “I tell people to cover their mouths, and they just tell me to f— off. I’m glad to have a shelter, and I know a lot of these guys are trying hard to make it safe here. But I can’t help it — at night it feels like there’s a cloud over my head, of disease floating in the air just waiting to get us.”Amber Richmond, Bryant Navigation Center client, talks about her concerns about the coronavirus while staying at the navigation centre.

SF preparing to make shelters safer,

There have been fewer than two dozen confirmed homeless COVID-19 cases in San Francisco the nation, federal officials told The Chronicle. None were reported by Friday afternoon in San Francisco.Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he would like to see all 108,000 of California’s unsheltered homeless people — those in the streets or in cars, not in actual shelters — moved indoors to protect them from COVID-19. To that aim, he has authorized $150 million to go to localities, dispatched 1,309 travel trailers throughout the state, and had his staff identify 950 hotels that could be leased for housing homeless people. He’s promised more aid to come.

Pull sickest and most vulnerable off the street

But Bay Area homeless coordinators don’t expect to achieve that goal — at least not soon. There were 29,689 unsheltered homeless people in the region’s nine counties in last year’s official count, and many are so dysfunctional with mental, drug or other problems Press Release Distribution Services In San Francisco that bringing everyone indoors quickly is considered impossible. So for now, at least, the plan is threefold: First, create enough new emergency beds in buildings, halls or pop-up tents to allow existing shelters to move half or more of their populations out, allowing for 6-foot social distancing inside. Second, bring inside the most vulnerable people, and give sanitizing equipment and advice on social distancing to those left outside. And third, find hotel rooms, RVs or tiny homes where homeless people with COVID-19 or those exposed to it can isolate or be quarantined.

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