LOS ANGELES – Sheltering in place can be a simple task when someone has an enclosed space or home. But that’s not a reality for the more than 59,000 people across L.A. County who, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, are currently unhoused.
Theodore Henderson has been unhoused for the last seven years, living in the Chinatown area. Despite, being unhoused, Henderson is taking precautions to maintain his health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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“I have hand soap and I have hand sanitizer. Every 20 minutes, I wash my hands,” Henderson said.
Recently, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti opened 13 city recreation centers to provide more than 1,600 beds for L.A.’s unhoused community. But Henderson doesn’t plan on using one.
In a time of social distancing, he continues to keep his area in Chinatown clean to avoid using a shelter bed. He’s also staying busy by sharing the latest information in the unhoused community through his podcast, "We The Unhoused."
“A lot of panic is out there. But, I’ve really been trying to educate the populous that we don’t have to go overboard,” Henderson said.
At least three people who are unhoused have tested positive for the coronavirus in L.A. County, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health. Henderson hopes this pandemic is a reminder for people of all walks of life to be on the same page.
“I really hope that… we realize we are in this together,” Henderson said.
Henderson continues to share interviews and experiences the unhoused community faces each day through his podcasts. But until this pandemic is over, he’ll continue to create a safe space for his community — no matter how far apart.