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Covid 19 and People Without Housing
The City of Ypsilanti cares deeply about all our residents and visitors, including people experiencing homelessness. Many people have contacted me, our City Council members, and City staff with concern about homeless people and their needs during the Coronavirus pandemic.
With Libraries, Bus Depots, restaurants, and other public places closed, indigent people without homes have been left with no place for basic bathroom and sanitation needs. This is both a humanitarian and a serious public health issue. I am proud to say that Ypsilanti took action and placed port-a-john’s, with hand sanitizing capabilities, systematically in the city. This strategy is being implemented throughout the county to assist those experiencing housing insecurity
Food pantries have remained open and full thanks to the generosity of our community and the amazing actions of Food Gatherers, Ypsilanti Public Schools, Meals on Wheels, EMU Swoops Food Pantry, Brown Chapel AME, the Senior Center, and several ‘pop up’ pantries that people created on their own. This incredible surge of care and action from our community says more than I ever can about the care and humanity of Ypsilanti. We should be very proud.
Chief Tony DeGuisti, of the Ypsilanti Police Department, has issued a public statement that clearly states that City policy is to not break up campgrounds or evict people staying in tent communities unless there is a health or safety issue or criminal activity going on. I am happy to relieve concerns about this particular issue.
Washtenaw County and the Delonis Center have created a safe(r) situation for housing homeless people using local hotels. This helps with both shelter and social distancing needs. Clearly this is a temporary solution and creating answers to the housing needs of all remains a pressing concern.
Stay home, stay safe, wear a mask when out in public, stay socially distant.