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Covid makes hard lives even harder for poor, homeless people in HCMC

By Ngo Tran Hai An   July 18, 2021 | 10:48 pm PT
Many poor and homeless people in Covid-19 epicenter HCMC have to depend on others’ charity for food since they can no longer sell lottery tickets or scavenge for junk.

While helping a volunteers group distribute bread to poor and homeless people, Ngo Tran Hai An captured the hardships of people suffering due to the social distancing requirements.
He said: "A lot of them are lottery ticket sellers and scavengers who do not have a home to return to. So they need things that can be eaten and not rice and salt."


A homeless old woman sleeps in a bus stop on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, District 1.
Nights have been cooler in HCMC and it has been raining, making it harder for homeless people to find a place to sleep.


Son from the southern Long An Province is nearly 70 years old. Since he is hearing and speech impaired, it is even harder for him to make a living selling lottery tickets at the corner of Hai Ba Trung and Dien Bien Phu streets. Though his own life is hard, he takes care of a small dog.
During the epidemic many kind people have offered to help him. He could have taken the VND75 million ($3,300) they offered, but, after refusing many times, he agreed to take VND5 million and signaled to his benefactors to use the remainder to help others in a more difficult situation than himself.


A laborer takes a nap on the street.


A man sleeps on a sidewalk on Phan Dinh Phung Street in Tan Phu District.


A piece of bread helps a homeless person keep hunger at bay.


Hanh and his wife collect used bottles and sell lottery tickets to take care of their two little children.
A few days ago the image of the family of four having to wander around and sleep on the streets of Saigon was widespread on social media.
Hanh said: "In the past my wife and I sold lottery tickets and collected scrap, which was barely enough for us to survive. We struggled to pay the hospital bills when my wife gave birth to the second child. On top of that we cannot earn a living due to Covid and were unable to pay our rent. So we were kicked out by the landlord."
Fortunately, the family received financial support from benefactors.
"We temporarily have enough to eat, but we don't know what the situation will be in the coming days."


A woman who took her two children to bathe at a fountain on Nguyen Trai Street returns to their sidewalk home with two bottles of water for daily use.


Poor laborers and other people stuck in closed-down areas also need support because they can no longer make a living. The charity group contacted local authorities to learn about individuals and families that needed help.

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