Service Provider: Homeless Are Always ‘Last in Line’ for Help


Hospitality House staff in August 2019. Courtesy of Hospitality House

Among the most exposed and often vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic are people who don’t have a place of shelter. Joe Wilson, executive director of Hospitality House, a nonprofit that offers a variety of services from employment guidance to emergency shelter, said the city seems to be waiting for people to get sick before intervening. Like other service providers, when he and others at Hospitality House have seen a need in the community not being met, they stepped in — for example, by moving most of the residents of the organization’s emergency shelter to hotels. When the crisis eventually subsides, he said the city will need to address leaving homeless people always “last in line” for housing, testing and care.

“We will be hard pressed to simply go back to what was. Returning to normalcy means that homeless people go back to being ignored again. And we are not OK with that.” — Joe Wilson

Joe Wilson. Courtesy of Hospitality House

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