In communities across the United States, the novel coronavirus has resulted in hundreds — if not thousands — of shelters shutting their doors and leaving homeless individuals without a place to take refuge. This issue is disconcerting in and of itself, but the problems only increase when a family finds itself facing homelessness in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. People experiencing unsheltered homelessness are an increased risk of contracting the virus, so it is critical that individuals and families understand how they can locate and secure alternative housing during this troublesome time. In this article, we review the primary ways that families facing homelessness can locate housing alternatives, as well as the precautionary measures that should be taken to prevent future cases of contagion.

For more information on how a recreational vehicle can be modified to act as an alternative housing unit, please contact East Coast Campers today. We are committed to serving families of Delaware and surrounding states with the resources and quality RVs necessary to maintain health and wellness for the entirety of the coronavirus crisis. 

Find a Low-Cost Hotel

Many families have found themselves confronting homelessness as a result of lost jobs and financial strain brought on by the panic of the pandemic. This is by no means ideal, but some shelter is better than none at all, especially when the safety of one’s family is at stake. Since many smaller and low-budget hotels have been granted status as essential operations, their services and rooms are still open to the public. Families facing homelessness at this time should consider this option, but know that there are other alternatives available.

On the subject of alternatives, consider the CARES Act. If this stimulus package is passed by the federal government, individuals and families will have the ability to apply for federal aid during this period of economic hardship. Once aid has been received, it becomes feasible to afford payments for temporary housing like low-cost hotels. For families who currently do not have the savings to afford the cost of a budget hotel, other avenues should be pursued, and we’ll discuss these next.

Turn an RV into a Residence

Many families may have a recreational vehicle of their own or know a friend or relative who does. If this fits a given family’s situation, they should take advantage of the sheltered space and move into the dual living-transportation structure. Whether a family is staying relatively close to their hometown or traveling to visit relatives in another area, an RV can accommodate both objectives for an extended period of time. 

After all, an RV camper is essentially a home on wheels! And it’s a much better investment in the long run than, say, weekly payments at a low-budget hotel whose sanitation procedures may not be regularly administered or monitored. By contrast, when you and your family are residing in an RV, whether it’s a used camper or a new park model, you will have the authority to maintain optimal cleanliness and practice proper social distancing. 

Seek Out Partnerships Across Sectors

Although the emergency assistance CARES Act has been passed as a bill, it’s often still necessary to look for COVID-19 resources within one’s respective state or city. It’s a good idea to contact a state or local health department, as well as homelessness service systems and housing authorities. These agencies and departments can get families the information they need to locate affordable or temporary housing, as well as safe isolation sites in the event that a family member becomes infected with the novel coronavirus. 

Lastly, it’s worth making an effort to communicate with other civilians and families experiencing homelessness. There is little harm that can come from working with your fellow citizens, and the more representation a group has, the more likely they are to receive approval for the creation of an advisory board that plans and implements strategies for confronting COVID-19-related homelessness.

Prevent A Worst-Case Scenario

If hotels, RVs, or municipal and community resources are ineffective in helping a family secure housing, the next best option is to focus on practicing as many preventative actions as possible. Whether confronting homelessness or not, it is feasible to find sources of clean water, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, facemasks, and more. Many of these resources can be found at healthcare facilities and some shelters operating on reduced hours.

This pandemic has not been easy for anyone, especially families, and the stress can take a heavy toll on one’s peace of mind. If you are experiencing difficulty with mental health conditions or emotional distress as a result of this situation, please reference our article on coping mechanisms for dealing with COVID-19. For more information on how an RV can be financed to support difficulties facing homelessness, please contact East Coast Campers today.