SAN ANTONIO – City leaders are working to make sure marginalized populations know they haven’t been forgotten in the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of those groups is the homeless population, which has steadily increased in the last few months.
“It’s rough. You can’t get a bath, no water,” said a man who lives on the streets.
He asked to remain anonymous but said many who are in his situation prefer to keep to themselves.
“People hide; they hide and stuff. They don’t want to be seen,” he said.
District 1 Councilman Roberto Trevino said there has been a 7% increase in the homeless population since the last point in time count, which took place at the start of the year.
However, Trevino said there could be more out there. Haven Hope continues to follow CDC guidelines and it has restricted the amount of people they could accept.
“It’s very difficult to know what’s going on with them and their health,” Trevino said.
He said there has been a spike in encampments in certain spots around the city, including along busy freeways.
He said the city is working to reach out to homeless groups by establishing hubs that provide health and sanitation kits. However, Trevino said it’s been no easy task.
“People simply hide and go into the shadows rather than go and accept services we can simply provide them," he said.
City officials have not reported any COVID-19 cases among the homeless population, but the councilman said that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there.
“To see that there’s no cases is one thing. To say that there’s no reported cases is another,” he said.