The world struggles against a deadly virus, and people can’t wait for the situation to improve. Millions of people have tested positive for coronavirus, and hundreds of thousands have died. Hundreds of people were dying in China, Italy, Spain and the US on a daily basis.
What about the homeless people? They have nowhere to go. Shelters are packed, and millions of people were left out in the streets.
The situation in Las Vegas, Nevada, couldn’t get any worse. A homeless man tested positive for the virus. He was sleeping at the Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada. After his results returned positive, his fellows had to sleep on a parking lot. Yes, this was the temporary shelter for the homeless people who had to be evacuated.
Hundreds of people had to spend the night sleeping in a parking lot. Does it get any worse than this? When did we become so cruel?
Social distancing will keep us safe from the virus. Is this why these people were forced to sleep on the concrete? Is this the only way to provide the six-foot distance between the homeless people?
Someone came up with this idea while keeping all the hotels empty. About 500 people were asked to sleep on a parking lot. Let this sink in.
First, they put a carpet and mats. But, safety measures didn’t support this and the carpet was removed. Cold, concrete floor was the only offer authorities had.
Every homeless person was screened for COVID-19 symptoms. A medical student from Touro University conducted the screening. Yes, he was wearing a protective gear.
Davd Riggleman, the communications director for the City of Las Vegas said they had tried to get sleeping mats, but there weren’t any.
The Cashman Center was used as an overflow hospital, and the parking lot was the only thing the city could offer.
“It was a logistical heavy lift. That was a lot to pull together in a very short amount of time.
I think our entire country has seen the fact that we can’t manage this situation that we are in. It’s not just the homeless. This has overwhelmed our resources everywhere and I think everybody is doing the best they can.”
Las Vegas’ chief community services officer, Lisa Morris Hibbler, said they were trying to help the community, “and I think that we’re showing that we do that well.” Was this really their best offer?
Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, Texas and former secretary of Housing and Urban Development, took to Twitter to share his take on the “offer.”
“After criminalizing homelessness this year, Las Vegas is now packing people into concrete grids out of sight. There are 150K hotel rooms in Vegas going unused right now. How about public-private cooperation (resources) to temporarily house them there? And fund permanent housing!”
After criminalizing homelessness this year, Las Vegas is now packing people into concrete grids out of sight.
There are 150K hotel rooms in Vegas going unused right now. How about public-private cooperation (resources) to temporarily house them there? And fund permanent housing! pic.twitter.com/wxZ4ZD6Jtc
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) March 30, 2020
Sadly, some of the homeless people are happy to have somewhere to stay. This was the only thing they had. Denise Lankford was sleeping on the parking lot, and this offer made her safe.
In Santa Clara County, California, officials opened the doors of 172 hotel rooms for the homeless people in the city. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will rent rooms for COVID-19 patients and homeless people. NYC officials have 500 rooms for the homeless people.
What does the City of Light offer? A parking lot? They now offered a tent for the homeless people. This came after the heavy dose of criticism city officials were hit with.