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Oklahoma City Nonprofits Aim To Protect Homeless Population Amid COVID-19

People experiencing homelessness are already a vulnerable population, and even more so during a global pandemic.

Oklahoma City nonprofits are ramping up street outreach and coordinating teams to deliver food, supplies and COVID-19 education materials to people who are unsheltered. Kinsey Crocker, the communications director for The Homeless Alliance, says the outreach efforts are critical.

"The already few public spaces and businesses welcoming to people experiencing homelessness - like libraries - have shut their doors and many people who are unsheltered are not getting regular news updates," Crocker said.

Some shelters are providing community meals to go and limiting exposure by creating isolation rooms, putting shower curtains between beds and having people sleep in alternating directions. Crocker said homeless service providers are feeling more pressure during the pandemic, as they are already stretched thin and under-resourced on a normal day.

An Alternative Care Facility for people exhibiting symptoms and another for people who are most vulnerable will open soon, staffed by the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps.


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Kateleigh Mills was the Special Projects reporter for KOSU from 2019 to 2024.
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