Homeless in California see handwashing stations arrive at camps amid coronavirus threat.
Although one of the groups in California most vulnerable to the coronavirus is getting some help to prevent its spread, the homeless population continues to face hardships from the pandemic, advocates said.
There are about 151,000 homeless individuals in California, with the Golden State having half of the country’s total street homeless population. The group is particularly susceptible to COVID-19, which is spread through coughing and sneezing.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said earlier this week that state and local authorities would be working to move homelessindividuals into hotels and motels purchased by the state in recent days and into 450 state-owned trailers.
Handwashing stations were established recently near homeless camps in the city after Crystal Sanchez, president of the Sacramento chapter of the National Homeless Union, began fundraising for them.
“Some people don’t like washing their hands," Donald Miller, who is homeless, told FOX40. “But me, I like washing mine every day. If I have to, I'll do it all day.”
The handwashing stations began arriving Tuesday and will be replaced once a week as they are restocked with soap, water and paper towels.
“We have six locations, five in each location,” Sanchez told FOX40.
Miller said that he would help maintain the new sinks so they don't get trashed.
“Because some people, they be doing things they shouldn’t be doing," he said Tuesday. "So I’m going to be making sure it don’t happen.”
Sanchez told FOX40 that the pandemic is creating additional hardships for the homeless population, as fast-food restaurants shutter dining areas and only to-go orders are offered elsewhere.