This is bad!
In San Diego, California the city is dealing with a hepatitis outbreak. In part stemming from the terrible conditions that many of the cities homeless have been dealing with. Three industrial sized tents were opened up for the homeless in an effort to contain the outbreak. Two giant tents that were larger were opened up later in the month. In total, approximately 350 single men and women could be held there.
It is projected that approximately two more will be opened up again to deal with the increasing demand. One is specifically made for families and the other will be made for veterans. In total, they should all be able to hold 700 people collectively.
20 people so far have been killed due to the hepatitis A outbreak. It is the worst outbreak of its kind in over 20 years. The virus itself is expected to have been contained and contracted from feces. Since many homeless people defecate in the street it is not at all uncommon that homeless people could contract it that way.
Bob McElroy of the Alpha Project said,
“There’s going to be a marked different in what we see on the streets today and what we see at this time next year.”
The non-profit helped to fundraise for and open the tent that opened just this past Friday. It was created because of not only the outbreak but increasing numbers of homeless people. If this strain of hepatitis is found on the street and the number of homeless people is continuing to rise then it is not a ridiculous theory to say that this outbreak number will continue to rise as well.
The Daily Mail reported,
“Verna Vasbinder, 47, was among the first to move from the campground. She rolled in with her little black dog, Lucy Lui, on the seat of her walker with a cardboard sign hanging off the back that read: ‘Don’t Touch the Dog! The Human Bites!’
She plopped down on her bunk bed and already felt lucky to be finally under a roof.
‘My bones were hurting very badly sleeping on the ground,’ said Vasbinder, who has been homeless for six years. ‘And the dew, moisture in the morning. Whew! I’m out of the cold, off the ground and I’ll be feeling better in a few days. All I need is to rest in a bed.’
Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who welcomed her to the tent, said the goal is to move 65 percent of the occupants into permanent housing. The city had to divert $6.5 million budgeted for permanent housing to fund the operation of the tents for seven months.
The tents will provide an array of services from mental health care to housing navigators. But the city still faces an acute housing shortage for the poor. Faulconer has earmarked more than $80 million in funds to address the problem.
Gemma Librado lives a block away from the tent that opened Friday. She said she is glad to see the streets being cleaned up but she worries it may attract more homeless. Last Sunday, a homeless man high on drugs and with a bleeding hand ran into her apartment when she opened the door and locked himself in the bathroom. She and her six-year-old son ran out and called the police. The man broke things in her bathroom, left bloodstains on the floor and scared her. ‘If this makes things more orderly than I support this,’ she said. ‘But I’m worried. I don’t want this to bring in more homeless to the area and people using drugs. There are families with children around here.’”
Look at some of the people who have been affected,
It appears that this issue is an incredibly multifaceted and multidimensional issue. Dealing with things such as homelessness, disease contraction, drug use, as well as other variables. They all play a role in interacting with one another and if you don’t deal with them all then there is no way to fix the problem.
Considering the homeless can sometimes be transient there is certainly a concern with this outbreak spreading to other cities in California as well as across the United States. While that is a long shot it is definitely a possibility that should be taken into consideration.
Share if you agree this outbreak is concerning.