As the country heads into winter and it becomes more difficult for people experiencing homelessness to safely remain outdoors, shelters face a major challenge preparing for the increased demand the drop in temperatures will bring while observing restrictions to prevent coronavirus outbreaks, NBC News reports.
Homeless shelters have had to adapt this year, with most reducing the number of people allowed inside to limit virus exposure for guests and staff members, said Donald Whitehead, executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless.
The coming winter and the expiration of the federal eviction moratorium at the end of the year have advocates concerned that a big wave of people will need shelter in a system that is already strained.
"That influx of people is something we haven't seen in my lifetime. Both will cause an influx of people into a system that does not have the ability to absorb a really huge increase in the number of individuals," Whitehead said. "Right now in the country, there's not one city that has enough shelter space for all the homeless people in their community."
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