Coronavirus

4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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Surging virus, plummeting temperatures challenge shelters

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Posted at 3:38 PM, Dec 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-24 15:38:00-05

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The pandemic has caught homeless service providers in a crosscurrent: demand is high, but their ability to provide services is constricted.

Shelter operators who already cut capacity by half to meet social distance requirements face new stresses with winter looming. Sheltering from the cold can now mean spending a night in a warehouse, an old Greyhound bus station, schools or an old jail.

People experiencing homelessness also face difficult choices. Even with fewer spaces available to warm up, some are hesitant to come into shelters for fear of catching the virus. Those intent on staying outside are finding reduced services.