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100 Medical Experts Call on San Francisco to Expedite Housing the Unhoused

Posted on March 25, 2020 by Jonathan

For Immediate Release
Contact: Joseph Wilson, Executive Director, Hospitality House
(510) 779-8468

Leah Simon-Weisberg, Shelter Client Advocate Managing Attorney,
Eviction Defense Collaborative, (323) 842-08614

100 Medical Experts Call on San Francisco to Expedite Housing the Unhoused

In an open letter published in the SF Examiner today, 100 doctors and medical professionals urge increasing city’s hotel capacity so that unhoused people can socially distance

San Francisco, CA, March 25, 2020 – Experts from some leading Bay Area medical institutions today issued an open letter recommending that the city government prioritize quickly housing San Francisco’s unhoused population in hotel rooms and other non- congregate settings as a key aspect of its coronavirus (COVID-19) response.

The open letter can be found online at: www.sfunitedincrisis.org

The open letter argues that unhoused people are particularly vulnerable to the pandemic owing to physical conditions pertaining to living without adequate shelter.

“The health conditions suffered by many unhoused people put them at especially high risk for COVID-19,” reads the letter. “Common conditions include diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune conditions, chronic illnesses, and increased age. Respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia and tuberculosis disproportionately harm the unhoused community. COVID-19 is also a respiratory illness.”

Based on this vulnerability as well as the conditions in which most unhoused people live, including congregate shelters, the likelihood of coronavirus spreading among the population is elevated.

“If we only provide proper accommodation to people after they are noticeably ill,” reads the letter, “the spread could become exponential.”

Further information can be found at: www.sfunitedincrisis.org

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