BY: VEDANT BADONI
During the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve all been so caught up in our lives with issues ranging from work, school, to just the struggle of having to do everything remotely that, unfortunately, we don’t consider the situation of poverty-stricken families and minimum wage workers such as those employed at restaurants and stores. With the closure of many of these services, roughly 20 million people lost their jobs and were hit face first with a dire financial crisis. Among the many places filled with people living on the streets is Rome, whose first responders and shelters are not only struggling to take care of the growing homeless population but are now faced with additional restrictions on having to remain socially distanced. Not only are more and more people ending up living on the streets, but homeless shelters and organizations providing for struggling families are being exhausted of their resources while risking their lives during the pandemic to support those in need. Looking at specific individuals and their stories truly helps to put these dire times in perspective. For example, Akas Kazi, a 35-year-old who came from Bangladesh to Rome was hit hard by the pandemic as the restaurant he worked at closed down and it was only a matter of time before he wasn’t able to pay the rent and found himself living on the streets. His numerous attempts at job searches returned nothing and he couldn’t live with friends either due to Covid. Unfortunately, his situation is only one amongst thousands if not millions thus reflecting the utter disaster Covid-19 has brought to the lives of many, especially those on the verge of homelessness.