Covid-19 is worsening homelessness and housing insecurity. Here’s how you can help

Homeless Population During The Winter In Sao Paulo Amidst The Coronavirus (covid 19) Pandemic
(Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

World Homeless Day is October 10, and now more than ever, those experiencing homelessness need to be protected from a two-pronged threat — Covid-19 and cold weather.

According to UN-Habitat, 100 million people worldwide are homeless, and at least 1 billion live in inadequate housing or overcrowded informal settlements. These already high numbers are surging due to the pandemic’s economic impact, and now having a safe place to call home has become even more challenging for people around the world. Here is how you can help those experiencing housing insecurity this World Homeless Day.

Donate goods to your local shelter

Find a local shelter in your community and see what they need, such as nonperishable goods, clothing, or basic supplies. Gathering and donating those items which are in high demand can be very helpful to your local shelter.

Create your own care packages

Keeping care packages in your car to give to the homeless is also a way you can help those who may not be able to get to a shelter. Items like shelf-safe food, gloves, socks, hand warmers, and hygiene products are useful to include.

Make a financial contribution

The financial demand for non-profit organizations that help those experiencing homelessness is currently through the roof. Monetary donations can help non-profits continue to enhance their work and help keep people safe and healthy. Impact Your World has compiled a list of non-profits helping extensively during the Covid-19 pandemic for you to support.

The Coalition for the Homeless provides temporary housing and meals in New York City, where the magnitude of the coronavirus outbreak has left unhoused people especially vulnerable.

Covenant House focuses on homeless youth and is taking donations to help protect youth across the country, especially at risk during the coronavirus outbreak.

Family Promise works with over 200 communities in 43 states to ensure families impacted by current economic changes have what they need to stay housed.

The Salvation Army coordinates with local, federal, and medical leaders to provide coronavirus response. They have a fund to assist with food, help with utilities, and provide safe shelter to homeless and disadvantaged people affected by the crisis.

United Way allocates resources toward diverting families from homelessness and ensuring they can access the skills and support they need to build their plans to identify or maintain safe housing.

Coronavirus can thrive among groups of people fleeing conflicts or political unrest in places like Yemen, Syria, and Venezuela. Displaced families are often confined to overcrowded camps, which can be hotbeds for the disease.

The International Rescue Committee is scaling up its response in these areas, providing additional protective gear, increasing funding to minimize supply chain disruptions, and bringing in more medical staff across affected areas.

Oxfam is increasing the delivery of soap, clean water, and other sanitation services.

In countries like the Congo, Lebanon, and Yemen, Mercy Corps is helping with clean water and other essential support for sanitation and hygiene. They are also continuing their efforts to provide basic needs to Syrians fleeing conflict.

You can donate to any or all of these organizations by clicking the button above or here.