We were locked in our rooms due to COVID-19 but allowed to use the restroom with, at times, 10 to 15 inmates. We line up for meds four times a day at least 10 to 20 deep. If you ask the correctional officer (CO) to wear gloves, they’ll refuse your meds.
I write this after 3 days of being curled into a fetal position, fighting off COVID-19. I was sick and bedridden when I received my test results that read, "COVID Negative." This is what it looks like to test someone and then try to transfer them.
“Sheltering in place” is a privilege that over 9,000 unhoused San Franciscans do not enjoy. Yet, shelters are congregate environments where people sleep barely more than two feet away from one another, head to foot or top to bottom in bunks.
For advocates and those in the nonprofit sector racing to meet these needs, the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the extent to which unhoused people rely on an informal safety net of nonprofits, advocates, and volunteers to survive.
Many will not remember this, but before the early 1980s, there weren't millions of homeless people in the United States. Contemporary homelessness was created by a federal government response to what was, at the time, considered a short-term economic crisis.