Accessing a sanitary bathroom is now more of a challenge for some of the city’s homeless amid COVID-19 business and municipal facillity closures.

Regular hand washing with soap and water is one of the first things public health officials in Canada and with the World Health Organization, recommend to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus and other respiratory illnesses. But accessing a sink and soap, isn’t always possible for those on the streets.

Out of the Cold is a community-based, volunteer-run winter shelter that provides accommodation to those experiencing homelessness in Halifax. Its co-founder Jeff Karabanow says the city shutting down, has created even more instability for the homeless population.

“With the libraries and a lot of other public places closed, the washroom piece is really problematic,” says Karabanow. “For now if you are not connected with a shelter, I’m not sure if there are other places you can go.”