More than half a million Americans are estimated to be homeless, and Covid-19 threatens to force many more who have lost jobs or income onto the streets. However, most are unlikely to vote. As part of our series of reports on America’s Forgotten Voters, Jowharwent to Kansas City, Missouri to find out why.
At a house run by reStart Inc in Kansas City, those who would otherwise sleep on the street can come for a free meal and a warm bed, and executives say demand is rising.
“In particular, we are seeing a very large increase in the demand for our family hospital. We have seen the number of families calling triple during the pandemic,” CEO Stephanie Boyer told FRANCE 24.
But ahead of an election where every mood could count, chances are that only a few here will vote despite the best efforts of the staff at the shelter.
“We’ve actually hosted two rounds of registration to get people who live here to vote,” Boyer said. “We haven’t really seen a large number of people be that interested.”
Turnout among homeless people in the U.S. presidential election is estimated at just 10 percent, partially discontinued for many states that require a mailing address to register to vote.
Although those in shelters who can restart can use their address there to register, some simply feel that casting a vote will make little difference.
“Unfortunately, I think all politicians are corrupt in their own way, form or form, and that’s why I do not want to vote,” Resident Hazel resumed to FRANCE 24. “It’s just, yes I understand that we must vote “and it’s for the future or whatever, but I do not know. I mean, I’m homeless or not. I’m actually trying to deal with my own problems.”
Click on the video player above to see the full report.