COVID-19 AND THE VULNERABILITY IT WILL EXPLOIT
With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the recent declaration that we are now entering a national State of Emergency, these are uncertain times for all of us. However, for the estimated 30.7% of children in Los Angeles County living in low income working families, the possibility of losing their home or job compounds this uncertainty.
The effects of coronavirus will be far-reaching and go beyond public health. This outbreak will undoubtedly destabilize the housing situation of countless families in our community unless we take proactive steps to mitigate this now.
The impact this outbreak will have on vulnerable families is profound. Hourly workers have already begun to see a significant reduction in their paychecks and there is a very real possibility that we will begin to see layoffs. As seen in other countries, those in service and hospitality will be hit the hardest. For many of our neighbors who do not have sufficient, if any, paid sick leave, an illness for themselves or a member of their family will mean serious losses to their household income as well. Those who already live in- or on the edge of- poverty will be hit the hardest and it is likely that we will see increases in homelessness, evictions, and food insecurity.
As schools across the state close, working parents will also struggle with the issue of childcare. Many parents will be forced to make the decision between paying for childcare or taking extended unpaid leave from work. 2016 numbers show that roughly 275,400 students are experiencing homelessness in California alone, meaning these closures will have a devastating effect on their way of life.
We understand that securing public health is of the highest importance, however, the economic fallout of this crisis will disproportionately impact working families. Over 50% of low-income, California families pay more than 50% of their income to rental housing, meaning a single unforeseen financial crisis can destabilize them, putting them at risk for homelessness. We want to make sure every precaution possible is taken to prevent this from happening to working families.
In crises such as this one, it is important that we display compassion and care for every member of our community. While we are not able to physically come together, now is the time to show solidarity in the protection of our most vulnerable citizens. We believe the best ways to do this are to donate food, supplies, and funding to local shelters and service providers along with amplifying their work. You should also reach out to local lawmakers to ensure they pledge and seek legislation, to support vulnerable families.
If you want to help, please reach out to us at www.familypromiseosb.org. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or 211info.org
COVID-19 will change our way of life as we take preventative steps to mitigate its impact. Don’t let it change the lives of vulnerable South Bay families forever.