Pandemic causing even more difficulties for homeless population

Reporter: Anika Henanger
Published: Updated:
Homeless in Centennial Park (WINK News)

As many face everyday struggles, we’re hearing from our most vulnerable.

Lynyrd Byer was just getting her life back together when she lost her job.

Now, she’s back on the streets and not able to find a job due to not having access to the internet to apply for jobs.

Byer used to drive by Centennial Park on her way to clean homes. She thought this place was in her past.

I was hoping I’d never have to come back out here,” she said. “I was hoping I’d never have to go through this again.”

This, meaning relying on helping hands to eat. And now, Byer is homeless again.

I’m on the street right now. I’m on the street. And I can’t even believe I’m out here. Every household is one calamity away from experiencing food insecurity or homelessness,” she said.

The pandemic is a disaster, one that tipped many families from security to wondering where their next meal might come from.

Ask Byer. Being homeless now is much worse than being homeless before COVID-19.

When the coronavirus hit, all of the businesses put notes up…’Contact us online,'” she said.

Go online? How, Linda Carney asks? She doesn’t have a computer or a smartphone or wifi.

“Now online, like your taxes, job applications, to get benefits, make doctors’ appointments, everything’s online now. There’s almost no face to face,” she said.

Sometimes, she doesn’t even have a place to wash her face, as most public restrooms are now closed.

“That might be the only time of the day you get to wash your face when you’re out here and clean up a little bit, but here I am, and I appreciate all these people,” Carney said.

And thank goodness there are people here to help no matter what.

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