Experiencing homelessness is the devastating result of many events and circumstances. We know from experience that the majority of our community members experiencing homelessness do not choose this lifestyle. Instead, they feel the enormous weight of resolving their situation as being too difficult, costly, and beyond their ability. Home for Good and our partner agencies work together with these citizens to make the process easier with a hand-up, not a hand-out. It is our job to support them not only to find a safe place to call home but also to utilize the resources available to help them stay housed. We work hard to assist them as they overcome these genuine and challenging obstacles.
Now, additional barriers exist associated with COVID-19. The recent epidemic has created more impediments for those experiencing homelessness by limiting some programs as well as fear from landlords preventing move-in acceptance. We have seen an increase in requirements for virus testing requirements, which can be challenging logistically but also demeaning emotionally. Thanks to the collaborative effort of MercyMed, SafeHouse Ministries, and Home for Good, we were able to test 180 people at the emergency shelter. While this helps mitigate the spread of the virus, it should not be a requirement for securing housing.
As the CDC article points out, staying in a shelter helps protect those experiencing homelessness from contracting and spreading the virus, but permanent housing should continue to be a priority. It stands to reason that to prevent and diminish the spread, they are safer in a home just like all of us.
Now more than ever, it is apparent everyone deserves a safe home.
Now more than ever, it is evident those experiencing homelessness need more advocates and supporters.
Home for Good is leading the conversation to break down further these barriers that existed before and as the new hurdles emerge. Home for Good has created a framework to engage with landlords helping them feel supported as they assist our vulnerable population. We are working diligently with the local and state governments to develop systems that prevent homelessness and build and strengthen existing practices. Some examples include eviction restrictions and financial assistance programs.
What can you do? Become an advocate by sharing this story and talking to your representatives. You can also help by donating to Home for Good. These funds assist our most vulnerable citizens.