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7 smart and simple ways public spaces are being adapted for social distancing

July 22,2020

Elissaveta M. Brandon, CityMetric

People experiencing homelessness have been especially vulnerable through the Covid-19 crisis. Many public health recommendations – sheltering in place, avoiding others, and washing your hands with soap – haven’t been easy options for people living on the streets.

Atlanta-based Love Beyond Walls, the US nonprofit organization that launched the country’s first museum representing homelessness, has set out to help communities install mobile handwashing stations in their neighbourhoods. Together with Lavamaex, a California-based nonprofit, the pair has launched a #LoveSinksIn campaign, which has already reached 30 cities, including New Orleans, Baltimore, Detroit, and Columbus, Ohio.

"Social distancing doesn’t mean social disregard," the campaign declares. Woodruff Park, in Downtown Atlanta, was one of the first public spaces to receive portable sinks. (In a bid to help its large homeless population find a job or search for social services, the park also became a free Wi-Fi hotspot in 2018.)