You have a warm bed, food on the table and a clean change of clothes, yet we complain if you are running out of TP or it takes you 30 minutes to get in a store.
Rather than being selfish and only thinking of ourselves, let’s think of those less fortunate in times such as we are currently going through.
As a society we are asked or requested to “Self-Isolate” in addition to maintaining the two or more metre distance between yourself and whomever you come in contact with.
While this might be an easy request, it’s not all that easy for those living in the “Downtown EastSide” of Vancouver.
Here you see many homeless individuals who are there for various reasons and while some don’t give a second thought to them, we must have some sort of understanding for what they are going through.
Not all are older or mid-class individuals and given the state of the world, it’s fair to say that there are various young individuals that also reside in these conditions as well.
Even when I make my travels to Vancouver I often hear some remarking to them “why don’t you go home and self isolate to protect the rest of our population” which is harsh to ask anyone, unless you have walked in their shoes.
As far as what is happening in the Downtown Eastside, simply put it’s having a huge effect for many to deal with the situation.
In light of the measures put upon us, asking the poor is something that authorities can only hope the poor or destitute can adopt given the harsh reality they are facing.
Since the lockdown officially started we have seen various homeless shelters shutdown of the homeless shelters in the lower Mainland and throughout the Province which is extremely difficult to deal with.
The shelters have been forced to reduce the numbers with residences looking to find their own housing as well as put a hold on any new beds that would otherwise be available.
Those living in the shelters now have to leave in the morning by 7 and not able to return until after 4 in the afternoon.
All staff have been given a complete cleaning process that they are required to complete, such as disinfecting various areas, such as the handrails, eating areas, washrooms and the dorms or sleeping areas with the beds now spaced two apart.
The eating area and lounge are harder or more difficult to keep sterol, but the staff are working to keep everyone the required two meters distance apart.
We are hearing that several shelters have gone to handing out meals to protect the clients in the shelters affected which was put in place March 15th.
Several places that also feed the homeless have been forced to make changes which include handing out food to those less fortunate in this time of difficulty.
Places of business such as the Ovaltine Cafe on Hastings have boarded up as well as Bars and Pubs are now offering take out orders.
A major concern or problem in the Downtown Eastside is Oppenheimer Park which still has a tent city occupying or covering the area with the numbers being around 100-150 homeless individuals have lived in tents for more than a Calendar year.
The situation is getting worse with the possibility of a major outbreak looming with the airborne virus that can affect several individuals who are at risk.
One release reads “Homeless residents and advocates are calling on government and public stakeholders to immediately and urgently provide a measured, appropriate, culturally-safe response to the COVID-19 pandemic to those who are unhoused and overlooked by current pandemic protocols.”
Mayor Stewart said. “This poses a risk for both residents and staff and I have already spoken with the Federal Housing Minister and tomorrow I speak with the Deputy Prime Minister and hope to connect with BC’s Housing Minister as quickly as possible.”
He (Stewart) continued “We need to make sure our neighbors who are under-housed or homeless are safe and to ensure no one loses their housing because of COVID 19 and how Ottawa and Victoria can support our work.”
You can help by making a donation to various charities such as the Salvation Army
This is only going to get worse and Sportswave along with the community have these individuals in our hearts and minds.