Nonprofit Working To Protect Homeless During COVID-19 Outbreak

A Phoenix nonprofit is working to keep the homeless healthy during the coronavirus outbreak in Arizona.

As the city’s new mandatory mask policy took effect, Circle the City has partnered with the city of Phoenix, receiving 500 masks from Mayor Gallego’s office which in turn, they are handing out to the homeless population.

Circle the City provides healthcare services to the homeless. Their care includes a recuperative medical model where those who are too vulnerable to be on the streets are given a safe place to heal.

The nonprofit has five locations located throughout Phoenix, however their care goes beyond facilities. They also offer mobile care units run by dedicated volunteers.

Since the pandemic began, Circle the City has had to put on hold some of their normal services to meet the needs of the homeless during the virus outbreak.

Within their respite centers, the nonprofit allocated beds as “isolation beds” allowing them to treat COVID-19 positive homeless individuals. In addition, Circle the City is able to offer coronavirus testing for their patients.

The nonprofit is also working to aid in the slow of the spread by putting preventive efforts on the streets. Hygiene bags are handed at the Circle the City’s clinics and out in their mobile care unit.

“What we are doing now, we are adding masks to our hygiene bags that we normally give to any patient that walks into our clinics, any individual facing homelessness who needs a mask we will give them one,” Marty Hames, a community liaison with Circle the City, said in an interview on Monday.

The hygiene bags also contain hand sanitizer, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a comb, a water bottle and nonperishable foods. The contents of the bags are provided by donations and put together by volunteers.

Donations are currently being accepted to help create hygiene bags. The two most-needed items are face masks and hand sanitizer.

“We can’t obtain our mission without the community,” Hames added. “If people have hand sanitizer or if someone is making masks at home – please let us know because when those donations come in, the very next day they are in the hands of people who need it the most.”

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