The Coalition for the Homeless

Residing in New York City, it’s sad to see so many homeless citizens living on the streets. I often see the same men and women residing near the subway entrances in my neighborhood. It is evident that the homeless population has been hit hard by the pandemic, especially since shelters have become overcrowded and social distancing has become a challenge. Many people experiencing homelessness may also have underlying health conditions that make them more susceptible to contracting COVID-19. This, in addition to deleterious social determinants of health and inadequate access to quality medical care, makes the homeless a particularly vulnerable population during the pandemic.

The following excerpt is from the Coalition for the Homeless website:

“As of June 1st, the overall New York City mortality rate due to COVID-19 was 200 deaths per 100,000 people. For sheltered homeless New Yorkers, it was 321 deaths per 100,000 people – or 61 percent higher than the New York City rate.”

The Coalition for the Homeless is a not-for-profit group that has a number of outreach programs, including advocacy services, housing assistance, crisis services, food services, job training, and youth services. One of their greatest contributions took place in 1979 when they won a legal battle that gave New Yorkers the right to have shelter.

The Coalition’s goal is to combat homelessness by providing people with temporary housing in shelters and ultimately permanent housing, all the while connecting them with the resources to eventually obtain a stable income. I feel strongly about achieving this goal and I hope to continue to do my part in helping the homeless and assisting my community.