Gerald Shiroma, a worker at the Union Rescue Mission homeless shelter in downtown Los Angeles, died from coronavirus late last week, according to shelter director Rev. Andrew Bales.
Shiroma had worked his way out of homelessness.
In a video posted to social media, Rev. Bales called Shiroma a “selfless, wonderful teammate,” and a “gentle soul” who “cared deeply about others” and “served others.”
Rev. Bales noted that Shiroma had found a new family at the mission, recovering from addiction, reconciling with his family, and helping others. He said Shiroma was the first resident on L.A.’s Skid Row to be diagnosed with the illness, and that no one else had yet tested positive in the area.
However, other cases among L.A.’s homeless have been reported.
Mayor Eric Garcetti has faced criticism for his ongoing plan to move homeless people to residential recreation centers, in apparent conflict with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
San Francisco has come to embrace a policy of providing medical services and sanitation aid to homeless people sheltering in tents outdoors, where “social distancing” is easier to practice.
New York is moving 6,000 homeless people from crowded shelters into hotel rooms, where individuals can maintain a separation from others.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.