LA’s plan: new ER shelters and 6000 beds for LA’s unhoused population in wake of coronavirus

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Homeless encampments on Skid Row. Photo by Amy Ta.

Folks who are unhoused in LA are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. There are tens of thousands of people living on the streets and in their cars, who have a hard time getting access to bathrooms and showers. Perhaps they have underlying conditions that make them especially vulnerable to the disease. We hear from one health clinic worker who’s on Skid Row, screening people for the virus and treating those who need medical attention.

But the City of LA is taking steps to protect people experiencing homelessness from COVID-19. On Wednesday, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a plan to open dozens of new emergency shelters. He said 13 recreation centers with 1,600 beds will open by Sunday. And in the weeks ahead, city officials will add dozens of more locations. Altogether, they’ll have 6,000 beds. But some advocates and people living outdoors have concerns.

Credits

Guest:
Shannon Fernando - Chief of Innovation for Los Angeles Christian Health

Host:
Steve Chiotakis

Producers:
Christian Bordal, Jenna Kagel, Rebecca Mooney

Reporter:
Anna Scott