Coronavirus pandemic creating new problems for NC homeless population and shelters

North Carolina news

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The coronavirus pandemic is causing many problems for people who are homeless.

Experts believe more than 9,000 people go without shelter in North Carolina nightly. In Greenville, Pitt County’s only shelter is adapting to the pandemic, as well.

The Community Crossroads Center used to be able to hold up to 100 people, including families. Now, that’s down to around 50. Center workers say they haven’t had a virus outbreak yet and hope to keep it that way.

“Everybody’s being a lot more careful,” said Community Crossroads Executive Director Ken Becker. “We’ve been handing out a lot of PPE (personal protecting equipment), masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, things like that.

“Whether folks will use it when they leave we don’t know, but we’d like to think people are being more careful.”

Recent reports have suggested homelessness is down in Greenville during the pandemic, but Becker says that’s not fully the case. Many homeless people have been seeking shelter elsewhere, due to reduced capacities.

The shelter encourages people to contact FEMA and other county shelters if Community Crossroads Center is full. To learn more about The Community Crossroads Center, click here.

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