Looking at the potential impact of COVID-19 on the homeless population

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — As COVID-19 continues to spread across the world, many are wondering how certain populations may be impacted, including the homeless.

NewsChannel 9 caught up with John Tumino of In my Father’s Kitchen to discuss those concerns.

We know, from world health experts, that the virus spreads rapidly in community settings. Tumino said while the homeless are not in social settings as often, they do have comprised immune systems and do not have the same access to healthcare as others. For those reasons, the employees at In My Father’s Kitchen are now coming up with ways to keep them and their friends on the street, safe.

Tumino drives his van around and connects with the homeless, alongside a doctor from Upstate Hospital, each week. Their main concern moving forward is that with that outreach, they do not infect the people they’re visiting. Starting next week, they’ll be wiping down their van with a sanitizer, wearing gloves, masks, and ordering a forehead thermometer to test their staff and those they interact with.

“I’m going to still show love and compassion to someone and I’m just going to trust that I’m doing the right thing and by doing the right thing I’m not going to hurt myself or them, but I still use wisdom and direction and do the right things in my hygiene and make sure that I’m protected as well,” Tumino said.

Tumino also says he has been informing the homeless and keeping them up to date on the spread of COVID-19 across the U.S. He says his biggest worry is how the disease will impact homeless shelters and soup kitchens.


For more local news, follow Julia LeBlanc on Twitter @JuliaLeBlancNC9

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