Letter to the Editor: For some, a respite from rooflessness

COVID-19 brought new troubles for all Delawareans, but for the roofless, COVID-19 also brought a short period of respite and refresh. Hotel rooms throughout the state were utilized to provide immediate shelter for those in need.

Around 10 days from now, those people will lose these unique COVID-19 privileges of having a safe room to sleep, a place to use the bathroom, and a private spot to store their stuff. It will feel like they are losing many of these new rights as citizens.

Many of these roofless people are older with chronic health conditions. Summer months will be as tough as it gets for these Delawareans as they are escorted back into surviving on the streets.

At the Shepherd’s Office in Georgetown, we plan to continue working hard at providing free meals every day for the homeless, hungry, or lonely. Along with them we are also expecting to serve many others who will become homeless or roofless for the first time during June, July and August. Before COVID-19 many of our working poor were only two french fries away from complete economic ruin, and now those two french fries are gone.

Over the past few months, incomes have dropped drastically and 8,000 more were added to the state’s healthcare Medicaid plan. The next shoe to drop will be thousands of Delawareans who will become the new homeless once they are evicted from their homes.

It will be an uncomfortable summer, but we are here to help as much as we can.

Jim Martin
Director, Shepherd’s Office

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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