BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The homeless population, and those who serve them, have needed to adapt to many changes amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The city’s homeless services said it is monitoring the situation and asked homeless shelters to shelter in place until further notice.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: More Than 1K New Cases & 17 Deaths Reported Sunday
Inside Catholic Charities’ — Our Daily Bread — meals are being made and products are being pushed.
“We’re making sure people stay safe,” Kevin Creamer said. “We’re implementing social distancing in the kitchen and the lines, but we’re making sure people stay fed.”
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But the hundreds who sit for a meal every day instead must take it to go due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“As you can see from the dining room behind me, it’s empty,” Christine Collins, of Catholic Charities, said.
Catholic Charities employees staff the kitchen as thousands of volunteers have been asked to stay home for now.
Daman has a place to stay, but he’s unemployed, and depends on the meals.READ MORE: 5-Year-Old Grazed By Bullet In Southwest Baltimore, Police Say
“We’re talking about people being laid off.” Daman said. “It’s serious to the point now where it’s about cross-contamination. We don’t want people getting sick behind this.”
Education is all around and word on prevention is critical.
“We’ve worked really hard to educate guests who are experiencing homelessness to make sure they understand especially the importance of hand hygiene,” Collins said.
Across town at Project PLASE, emergency food kits are being prepared. The population they serve are vulnerable, many with pre-existing conditions.
“Some have [high] blood pressure, heart disease, HIV,” Mary Slicher, of Project PLASE, said.
At their shelter, only eight people can be in the dining room at once. They’re careful on screening new clients.
“We’re doing constant cleaning, constant screening,” Slicher said. “We do have nurses who are taking temperatures.”
Those who are ill are being designated to isolation areas in shelters, but city officials said they recognize with capacity, there is sometimes no alternative for isolation.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 In Maryland: 1.5K New Cases & 17 Deaths Reported Saturday