Panic buying, self-isolation, hand sanitiser – even working from home are all privileges vast numbers of people around the world and certainly in Australia, do not have access to.
The COVID-19 pandemic will impact people that live in poverty, be it in Kings Cross, Sydney or Alexandra, Johannesburg far more than those with economic stability and access to health care.
The impact this crisis is having around the world, where self-isolation is a myth, where there is no choice to work from home and where health systems are struggling is heartbreaking. The level of human devastation that will be caused is not yet properly understood.
Although Australia seems to be faring well compared to many other developed countries, there are many in our communities who would be all but forgotten as services shut their doors and people retreat into their homes. Forgotten folks except for places like the Exodus Foundation and the Wayside Chapel, for whom closing down was never an option.
(Next week we will take a look at how the good folk at Ashfield are responding to this crisis).
Based in the Cross, the Wayside Chapel have adapted their model to ensure they are not putting their community at-risk, providing meals and care packages via street teams. This is also a way for the team to stay in touch with their community.
Wayside Chapel has also been working with the Department of Communities and Justice to get those sleeping rough off the streets and into temporary accommodation at local hotels.
The Project covered this story recently, watch the piece here: https://10play.com.au/theproject/news/2019/a-temporary-roof/tpv200420xtsmv
Wayside are running an emergency appeal. If you are able, please consider donating here: https://bit.ly/WSEmergencyAppeal