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Outreach advocates’ survey finds half of San Francisco’s homeless are unaware of coronavirus outbreak

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — A father-daughter team of homeless outreach advocates, Eric Moseley and Erica Moseley, hit the streets of San Francisco and discovered that about half of the homeless people they talked to were completely unaware of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Moseleys talked one-on-one with more than 100 people living unsheltered throughout the Tenderloin and other neighborhoods plagued with poverty.

“Virus?” one young woman asked with confusion.

“The coronavirus. Did you know about the coronavirus?” Erica Moseley asked.

“No,” the woman replied.

The Centers for Disease Control has four basic steps that it asks everyone to practice to stop the disease from spreading rapidly: 1. Clean your hands often. 2, Avoid close contact with others. 3. Stay home if you’re sick. 4. Cover coughs and sneezes.

Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered that all of the state’s 40 million residents go into home isolation starting Thursday night to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“Everyone is urged to stay indoors, but what about the people who don’t have a door?” Erica Moseley said.

As the Moseleys went from block to block educating people about the virus, they handed out virus-combating tools such as hand sanitizing soap. Eric Moseley said the homeless men and women who he talked to have many questions, and few answers directing them where to go during this time of uncertainty and public health fears.

The Moseleys plan to continue their outreach efforts throughout the coronavirus outbreak. You can donate through allhomeca.org

State officials believe that without quick intervention, the virus will sweep through homeless encampments where people can’t practice social distancing. California has the largest homeless population in the country — about 150,000 — and Newsom estimates up to 60,000 homeless could end up infected.

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