Half of the earth’s population is locked inside their houses. Most are doing their best to limit the impact of this pandemic, the solidarity during covid-19 spreads. However, not everyone is lucky, and homeless people are very vulnerable to this crisis. Even though no one can go out for social purposes anymore, this doesn’t stop acts of generosity and kindness to one another. The world more than ever relies now on every individual, on every act of selflessness.

A lot of people are living in a precarious situation, especially now, when many can’t work anymore. This means that they cannot feed themselves properly, and put themselves at risk. Many NGOs help people in need. The “Restos du Coeur” in France, provide food for people who cannot afford meals. 

They are still open during this crisis, and rely on donations to function. Generosity isn’t limited to NGOs, some simply go shopping for their neighbor, who might be too old, to protect them from exposing themselves to the virus. In Italy, Naples, some residents lowered food baskets from their windows to give food to those who need it while maintaining social distancing. This initiative was originated by Angelo Picone. The concept is rather simple, those who can and want to put something in the basket, and those who need it help themselves.

Picture of a basket in the Napolitan streets, the panel reads “Those who can, give; those who can’t, take”. From the local.it

Homeless people are among the most vulnerable to the virus. Their life conditions make hygiene and social distancing hard to achieve; for example shelters welcome many people, and become a place where virus transmission is facilitated. Many people who experience homelessness also have underlying conditions, and have less to no access to healthcare. 

This means that testing for Covid-19, quarantining, or treating them is much harder. This will lead to a quicker spread of the virus, and higher mortality among them. This is why governments have started taking action. In California, 15 000 hotel rooms were made available for homeless people. In France, over a 1,000 rooms across the country are being offered up by hotels. 

The UK is planning on doing the same. Most hotels are closed because of this crisis, as no one travels anymore. There is an enormous capacity to offer shelter. Some hotel owners offer their resources to protect those in need. Let’s hope this teaches us to care about everyone before a crisis takes place, and that there will be more care paid to homelessness.

There are many fundraising campaigns held by NGOs and public figures to help those most in need. The Hope from Home fundraising campaign reunites influencers across different platforms, as well as streamers, gamers and entertainers, to support  Covid 19 solidarity response fund, United Way, and the Red nose day campaign. 

Twitch, a streaming platform, has hosted “Stream Aid 2020” on the 28th of March, and have donated to the Covid 19 Solidarity Response Fund. The latter have raised over a 140 M dollars as of the 10th of April. Allocations from this fund are decided by WHO, and include UNICEF, vaccine development, alliance CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations), and more. 

United Way supports communities in need, connecting people to resources and accurate information. They step up for families who may not be getting enough meals because of the current situation, and help food pantries who are receiving less donations. Finally, Red Nose Day is an organisation focused on childhood and youth. They work to help them escape poverty. However, during coronavirus, there are many more interventions needed, especially concerning children living in poverty.

There are so many ways we can all help, if you want to contribute but do not have money to give, Goodeed allows you to donate for free online. They have many campaigns which you can choose from to donate to by simply watching a 20 second Ad. They have coronavirus related campaigns going now, and allow everyone with an internet connection and 20 seconds to support them. This is a time where we all come together, where unity strengthens us. Take care of yourself and others, stay at home.