CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (Southside Light News) -- It seems like everybody is discussing the COVID-19 pandemic that has been sweeping the news headlines in recent months and weeks. But one particularly vulnerable group of citizens is our homeless population. Many worry about what happens should COVID-19 breakout within a homeless shelter, if it is even possible for them to take proper precautions to guard against potential infection? In fact, when the stay-at-home order goes into effect Thursday night just before midnight here in Corpus Christi, there is a question about what happens to those who do not have a home in which to escape?
One such man in his late 40s was waiting on a park bench in downtown Corpus Christi Thursday evening doing what he normally does--just kind of loitering. People that walk past him on a daily basis say that he causes them absolutely no harm. But on this night, the man is not worried about a stay-at-home order or other restriction that is about to go into place. He is worried only about being able to get his usual charity.
"One of my friends came by and gave me a bottle of hand cleaner while ago," said the Freddie, the man who is a fixture on the downtown benches. "He gave me 2 bottles of water and some stuff to clean my hands with. He said do as much as I can."
By his "friend" he meant a Corpus Christi police officer who he routinely sees throughout his days. Freddie says that the police officer told him to about "something that was going around town" and that he needed to take care of himself.
When asked where he sleeps, Freddie simply replied wherever he can. But now that there is a beach curfew in place after dark, that becomes even more of an issue for people who share his situation.
"I heard about something going around," said another homeless man in the Flour Bluff area. "I sure don't want to get whatever it is. That boss man said it was pretty bad and he would be praying for me. I appreciate that."
When we asked him if he would seek shelter, he said that he never does because he worries about the people that are in there and he feels like he is safer on his own.
"I figure I am safer out here than inside one of those shelters," the man said.
The fact is that he may just be right on that account, according to CDC experts. But it still does not solve the question as to what do you do if you have no home?
In most other counties across Texas there was language written into the order that offered some sort of homeless provision. But, the orders limited legal action against them. In fact, some communities have even gone as far as to exempt the homeless population altogether, but encouraged them to find resources to help them. In fact, while the democrat state strategists were busy apparently drafting language for their local county officials, it seems that the memo didn't make this far south.
So what do they do? That is the question that is yet to be answered. We reached out to the Nueces County Attorney and the office of County Judge Barbara Canales who issued the order for answers. As of 10:56 pm, we still have not gotten a response.
We will keep you posted on what we learn.