Author: Dr. Albert Ngo
Covid-19 is a respiratory infectious disease caused by SAR-COV-2. Currently, there has not been any vaccine approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to provide immunity against the easily and sustainable spread of the infectious virus in the community. Infection occurs by closed contact with an infected person by mouth, nose, and eyes according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. A stay-at-home order is implemented by 42 states in the U.S. as a crucial and effective method to controlling the spread of the SAR-COV-2 virus. For instance, of the state, California (CA) is the first state to implement the safer at home order. However, this order is not easy to implement because there is a huge number of homeless people in CA who lack permanent shelters. Homeless people include individuals whose primary residence during the night is a supervised public or private facility (e.g., shelters) that provides temporary living accommodations, and transitional housing.
This study discusses the implementation of the stay-at-home order, also known as safer-at-home to the homeless population living in CA. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, there were approximately 151,000 homeless people in the state of California. Challenges to implement the safer-at-home order health, comprises of health education limitations, immigration, and housing issues for the unsheltered and vulnerable homeless population.
One immediate solution implemented is the acquisition of immediate urgent shelter for this vulnerable population. In addition, the city granted three months of protection against the eviction from the tenant’s failure to pay his or her rent due to job loss. Furthermore, the state of CA leases motel rooms to accommodate the homeless and get them out of the street while providing health support for those who are infected with Covid-19.
These programs are indeed very important to abide to the “safer-at-home” order and will be efficient in a short-term run. However, since the pandemic will go beyond three months, it will be challenging and a financial burden for the state of California. One sustainable solution is to provide affordable permanent housing for everyone which could be called, No One-Left-Behind Affordable Housing (NOAH) project, which is an income based permanent housing plan that is accessible and readily available to all type of incomes in the state of California.