Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti at San Pedro Bridge Home Opening (Screen Shot)

The unsheltered have been part of the most susceptible demographic to coronavirus, due to being exposed to the elements with no permanent protection to take refuge. July 6, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti held a conference “Confronting the Crisis,” announcing the opening of a bridge home shelter in San Pedro. Monetary resources are being funneled to areas that are imperative to fighting a global pandemic, L.A. County disclosed a commitment to testing site funding.

A bridge home is a model that allowed people to exhale with relief, to bring their pets and possessions into a place of solidarity is a start for growth. It provides “everything to make one feel human again.” San Pedro marks the 16th bridge home shelter, multiple branches of city government had their hand in bringing this project forward. Within a week, an additional bridge home will also come online.

“We refuse to just let it get worse, we have doubled the number of people we were housing in just four year out of homelessness, even as the supply has gone up as well.” The number of unsheltered have inclined since the January count, there has been serious effort in finding placement for people experiencing that devastation.

There are plans for more permanent solutions, Mayor Garcetti is collaborating with the county to work on services to propel movement of permanent residential projects. The goal is to have families move through shelters and land back on their feet. There will be over 2,000 beds available in over 24 bridge shelters total. At the San Pedro homeless facility, 100 Angeleno families can be sheltered at a time.

As of July 7 L.A., County announced a new commitment, to supply additional funding for testing sites. There is a $400,000 seed devoted to the support of staffing costs at COVID-19 testing sites operated by CORE. This will help current operations, fully fund nine sites, and prepare for up and coming testing centers.

Los Angeles Chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors Kathryn Barger stated, “Access to COVID-19 testing is one of the many critical steps needed to protect the safety and well-being of Los Angeles County residents and help support our recovery, This funding provides the opportunity for the County to maintain crucial testing sites and ensure the availability of appointments throughout the entire region, helping to keep our community safe.”

latest numbers surrounding coronavirus shared on July 6, reflected 48 additional deaths, 33 of these individuals were between the ages of 65 and over, 28 of them with underlining health conditions. 13 people who died were between the ages of 41-65, 12 victims had preexisting health concerns. one individual was below the age of 40, with underlining medical conditions, this brings the total COVID-19 related deaths in the L.A. County to 3,534.

As previously stated, the poverty line was a place of fragility for those dangling below. In one fell swoop, multiple people who were barely surviving, reached a place of true devastation amid a global pandemic. With data showing the reality of this pandemic affecting preexisting community concerns, it is vital to move essential monetary resources to the right areas. Mayor Garcetti and the county are working together to bring a level of stability for those who are feeling the pandemic on a severe level.