Digital First: Man helps keep the homeless safe from COVID-19

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – While everyone is trying to protect themselves from the spread of the coronavirus, one man is reminding everyone to not forget the homeless population.

Detrick Johnson has been working for Hinds Behavioral Health Services for more than 20 years. He works primarily with the homeless population at The Bride Drop-in Center.

The Hinds Behavioral Health Services’ peer- run drop-in center provides a wide variety of services to help homeless individuals with serious mental illness gain access to housing, treatment, and recovery support. The Bridge also provides access to basic needs such as food, showers, toiletries, clothes, laundry, telephones, and mail.

Detrick Johnson, Team Lead for The Bridge, stated, “I love working with the homeless population. I feel like that’s a calling the Lord has on my life. So, I try to show them as much love and care as I possibly can, because you never know when you find yourself in a situation where you’re in need.”

Once the shelter in place order was initiated, Johnson began keeping the homeless population updated on the ordinance’s guidelines.

Johnson, along with other volunteers, started making homemade mask for those in the homeless population. He believes the homeless population is among the most vulnerable during the spread of COVID-19.

“We talk about hand washing all the time. How can you wash your hands if you don’t have a house, if you don’t have running water? So, the homeless population is really impacted in a negative way through the COVID-19,” said Johnson. “We just want to encourage people if you have hand sanitizer, masks, and those type of things like that to think about other people that don’t have those things that may be homeless that are staying in abandoned houses, sleeping on the streets, or the bus station. It’s not that they don’t want those things, they just don’t have the resources or the means to get them.”

Those who work with Johnson said they’re grateful he’s still there to help.

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