How COVID-19 creates ripple-effect on people experiencing homelessness

With more and more industries closing in response to COVID-19, people experiencing homelessness are facing a ripple effect of challenges.

Posted: Mar 20, 2020 5:54 PM
Updated: Mar 20, 2020 6:14 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — With more and more industries closing in response to COVID-19, people experiencing homelessness are facing a ripple effect of challenges.

“It's all happening so quickly and it's affecting each and every one of us, I'm devastated for my clients,” said Kayla Beaver, Employment Specialist at Lafayette Transitional Housing Center.

When it comes to client safety and sanitation procedures, LTHC is set. It's the after-effects of this coronavirus pandemic that has workers worried.

“I probably had about 15 clients that were getting ready to start at either Subaru or Heartland and they're closing and shutting down for a week, as of right now, it's just a week,” said Beaver.

Beaver's main priority is helping Lafayette Transitional Housing clients find a job. With companies having employees work from home or laying them off until further notice, times like this are stressful.

“It's hard to hold on to hope and so a little thing like having a job, which is huge, that's what gets them through, that's their positive enforcement that's like getting them motivated to make the right decisions and stay focused on the right track,” said Beaver.

Beaver said local staffing companies have been a huge help stepping up to offer temporary work to clients. But LTHC's Development Director Jennifer Shook said there are still other concerns.

“Everybody is just kind of in this static place where there's not a lot of movement, which for us is unfortunate,” said Shook.

Shook calls it a bottle-neck effect, which means the number of people needing services could increase while the opportunity to meet those needs decreases.

“What we’re afraid that we’re really going to experience is a ‘bottleneck’ on the get out and an explosion to the get in on our kinds of services,” said Shook. “We want to get people out and get people into housing because we know new people are coming in,” said Shook.

Right now their best solution is staying positive.

“We're just going to be patient because that's all that we can do, and we're all this together,” said Beaver.

Lafayette Transitional Housing is serving 175 clients at all stages right now. That's about at capacity. Fifteen of those have work that has been stopped this week.

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COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

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