Homeless in Los Angeles get hand sanitizer, food from nonprofit practicing social distancing
Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.
While California residents have been ordered to “stay at home” during the coronavirus pandemic, some still are making sure the most vulnerable population is getting help.
There are about 151,000 homeless individuals in California, with the Golden State having half of the country’s total street population. The group is particularly susceptible to COVID-19, which is spread through coughing and sneezing.
In the city of Los Angeles, there are 36,165 people without a consistent living situation, including 27,221 considered unsheltered on the city’s streets.
CORONAVIRUS IN THE US: STATE-BY-STATE BREAKDOWN
Shirley Raines, who runs the nonprofit Beauty 2 the Streetz, is among those still helping the homeless community.
On Saturday, Raines shared a video on Twitter of handing out food, hand sanitizer and vitamin C to homeless people in the city’s Skid Row neighborhood. The video has racked up over 10.2 million views as of Tuesday afternoon.
“We managed to practice social distancing while still serving our homeless community,” Raines wrote on Twitter.
Raines is seen in the video staying in her car while handing out items in plastic bags through a partially opened window.
“Take the hand sanitizer in your hand, rub it around. Don’t touch your face, OK?” she tells one person.
For those waiting in line to receive items, Raines cautioned them not to reach in, that she would hand them bags.
“There’s enough for multiple users. Just take a little bit,” she explained to someone about the sanitizer she included in the bags.
LOS ANGELES VOTES TO LET HOMELESS KEEP TENTS UP DURING DAY AMID CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
Raines’ nonprofit, Beauty 2 the Streetz, aims to “serve the homeless by providing necessities alongside the things that make us feel inherently human: a hot shower, a hearty meal, the hope-inducing feeling of looking in the mirror and loving what you see.”
She told Storyful she usually sets up tables on Saturdays in the neighborhood, but missed a weekend because “we thought it was best to keep the social distance and not set up tables.”
“The homeless contacted me via social media and said they were hungry, scared and alone,” Raines told Storyful.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP
Raines told Insider she received backlash from some for allowing crowds to form near her vehicle, but she said that social distancing isn’t a privilege for those who sleep on the streets.
“The best I can do is give out hand sanitizers, and try and educate my family I’ve been taking care of for three years,” she told Insider.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 2,220 confirmed coronavirus cases in California and at least 43 deaths.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said last week that state and local authorities would be working to move homeless individuals into hotels and motels purchased by the state in recent days and into 450 state-owned trailers.
Newsom said Monday that California was planning for a 90-day surge of cases. He said new calculations show California, which has 75,000 hospital beds, could need an additional 50,000 beds for COVID-19 patients.
A Navy hospital ship is destined for Los Angeles and two Army field hospitals opening in Riverside and Santa Clara counties, which are expected to serve thousands of patients.
Fox News’ Barnini Chakraborty, Andrew O’Reilly, and Nick Givas contributed to this report.
Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed
Source : Travis Fedschun Link