More people turning to homeless shelters for help during the pandemic

In This Together

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The number of people who have turned to homeless shelters during this pandemic has grown, including right here in central Ohio. But there are resources for those who find themselves in that situation, through no fault of their own.

One month ago, life turned upside down for thousands of Ohioans when bars and restaurants closed due to the coronavirus. In an instant, jobs were lost, paychecks were gone, and rent was due.

A woman who did not want to be identified expressed to NBC4, “I was down to $141 and I thought, ‘What am I supposed to do?'”

Her story is one you hear too often.

“Feel like I’m in a crunch as far as this is going on because there’s nothing I can really do,” the woman said. “It’s a struggle.”

Thankfully, there is help for those caught in the crisis. The Hilltop YMCA is now one of three shelters that has been set up by the Community Shelter Board to ensure social distancing and safety for the 60 women staying at the facility.

“To have somewhere safe in a safe environment, to be able to shower, bathe, eat and provide resources like housing and employment … This is very rewarding, very fulfilling to be able to help the most vulnerable population during this time,” said Brittany White of the YMCA.

For all of the women, the stay is only temporary. But the effects of being safe and cared for during a tough time are long-lasting.

“I’ve seen people way worse than this before this even happened so I’m just thankful that I have a place and that after this over, I can go help somebody else,” the woman said.

NBC4 is proud to partner with the Community Shelter Board to raise funds and awareness about some of the most vulnerable people in our community — the homeless. On Thursday, April 30 NBC4 is holding a virtual CALL4 from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Viewers can also watch a special presentation called “Under One Roof,” hosted by Colleen Marshall at 7:30 p.m. She will highlight some of the important work being done in the community to keep our neighbors safe.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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