With the onset of COVID 19 disrupting everyone’s lives it seems solace these days is found within one’s own home. This time is perhaps particularly distressing for those who simply do not have a roof to isolate under.
Lynn Kirchner with Carbondale Homeless Assistance (CHA) is concerned about homeless people “falling through the cracks.” She fears that the homeless community will be further alienated due to the public’s concern of viral spread.
Kirchner says that because the Recreation Center is closed there is no place for homeless folks in Carbondale to take showers now. She hopes to figure out an alternative so people can take care of their hygienic needs because that is especially important currently.
At CHA’s last board meeting, they discussed putting together baggies with Vitamin C and other immune boosters. Kirchner also plans to reach out to Marble Distilling Co. which is currently manufacturing hand sanitizer and see if it’s management would be willing to donate some of their new product.
Kirchner commends Lift-Up for their drive through stations opened at various locations and times from Aspen to Parachute. Lift-Up has contributed pre-packaged emergency food bags to people in need. The bags have been available for curbside pickup.
Kirchner wants the public to know that “the homeless are aware and are doing everything they can within their means to stay healthy.” She further hopes that “the support for them in our community — because they are a part of our community — will continue.”
Kirchner says that a growing concern is the “almost homeless” population. She said that because local restaurants and businesses have closed many people are left without income. Most people within that group are living paycheck to paycheck and she worries they will not be able to sustain paying their rent.
Of course it would be great if landlords gave their tenants leniency, “but then who gives them a break?” Kirchner wonders.
Kirchner implores people to not cast judgement during this uncertain time and to look out for their neighbors without homes.
Anyone can make a donation and/or drop off gift cards to Kirchner’s office at 711 Main St. in Carbondale or visit CHA’s facebook page for more information.