REVERSE A DOWNWARD SPIRAL – SAVE OUR SAFETY NET

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As the coronavirus continues to pose a health risk for Americans in its fourth month, we have yet to see the full extent of the economic fallout in its wake. A recent report on the New York Times website highlights the struggle that many nonprofits are facing in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among the facts noted by the article:

  • Tens of thousands of nonprofits are likely to close without some kind of rescue package
  • The sector is the nation’s third-largest private employer, with 1.3 million nonprofits employing roughly 12.5 million people, about 10 percent of the total who are working in the private sector
  • It’s estimated that 1.6 million nonprofit jobs were lost between February and May

Leaders in the non-profit sector are using terms like “twin tsunami” and “anti-harmonic convergence” to describe a situation in which demand for emergency and charitable services like those provided by The Floating Hospital is doubling and tripling – even as resources to provide this help dwindle.

While creating and intensifying mental stress, the coronavirus has made it more difficult to connect with behavioral health providers. As more businesses shed jobs, those who once worked to give others a hand up wonder whether they will eventually be left to make it on their own.

We find ourselves in a moment where a global pandemic has disrupted business as usual in our “staunchly capitalist country.” It is up to us to choose what we salvage from this disaster. Will we allow our safety nets to disintegrate or will we see them with new eyes and appreciate their worth with a revised set of values and priorities?

Since 1866, The Floating Hospital has been the largest provider of healthcare to families living with homelessness. We provide free and secure transport to and from more than 300 shelters and domestic violence safe houses throughout New York City.

The Floating Hospital operates a main clinic in Long Island City with satellite clinics at family homeless shelters and public housing complexes in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

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