COVID-19 Action: Keep People Safer At Home


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We are all better off when we are all healthy. But while most people can self-isolate at home, our elected leaders are giving many of our unhoused neighbors no choice but to live in mass shelters, where they face a high risk of infection and even death. That’s not right.

Public health experts are issuing warnings about the heightened risk of COVID-19 infection in shelters. Because they cram large numbers of people together in warehouse-like—and often unsanitary—conditions, shelters make it virtually impossible for people sheltered to comply with precautionary measures of social distancing. In fact, shelters are frighteningly efficient modes of transmission of the virus. The risks posed by shelters are doubly alarming because many people sheltered, including people who are ill and older adults, are at higher risk of getting sick and dying.

People need safe housing — not homeless shelters with high exposure risk.

It's up to all of us to demand that everyone has a safe place to live and thrive. When we all have access to a safe home, our communities are healthier and stronger. Take action.

Message Recipients:

  • Governor Gavin Newsom
  • Mayor Garcetti
  • Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
  • Los Angeles City Councilmembers
  • Orange County Board of Supervisors
  • Riverside County Board of Supervisors
  • San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors
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Your Message

People need safe housing -- not homeless shelters with high exposure risk to COVID-19. That's why we're calling on you to heed the recommendations of public health experts:

1. Immediately pivot to a "housing first" approach by providing people with affordable, permanent housing. Homes are a public health intervention and a form of health care.

2. Until housing is available for all people who need it, provide motel and hotel vouchers to people so they can self-isolate.

3. Shelters are unsafe places to live in during the pandemic under any circumstances. However, to protect people who currently have no alternative but to risk exposure by staying in them, we need uniform health and sanitation standards that apply to every homeless shelter and a system to ensure compliance.

We urge immediate actions to protect the people most vulnerable to this pandemic, and that includes people forced to live in homeless shelters. You have the power to offer everyone a safe place to self-isolate and ultimately, a home. Now is not the time for half-measures, because half-measures are deadly and will prolong the pandemic.


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