Pam Holdorf: Enduring COVID-19 in a homeless shelter

Delaney Shea, News Contributor

This Q&A is the nineteenth in a 19-part series, “19 COVID-19 Stories,” updated on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, diving into the unique perspectives of the Corvallis community as they face COVID-19 and all its social and economic effects. 

Pam Holdorf is a homeless Corvallis resident, currently stay at the Room at the Inn women’s shelter. She says she has been homeless for the past four months, and has been in and out of homelessness previously, due to being unable to afford an apartment. 

Can you describe the most significant ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has affected your day-to-day life, if at all? Are you afraid of catching the virus?

Stuck inside the building (Stay at home order). I don’t like being stuck inside. It affected who I could be around because I didn’t want to catch the virus. I am afraid of catching the virus.

More specifically, have you felt like you’ve been able to get resources and support to protect yourself from COVID-19? Have emergency measures put in place by the city of Corvallis or non-profit organizations been useful to you?

Yes. I felt like I was able to get the help I needed. Yes, what the city and the shelter has done, have been very useful to me.

Additionally, how have the shortages of items such as cleaning supplies and certain foods, and the closing of many local businesses, affected you?

It didn’t affect me that much because I didn’t need to buy cleaning supplies, they have that stuff here at the shelter. But when stores were closed, I couldn’t get electrolyte drinks which my doctor recommended for me. I just eat whatever they serve here at the shelter which is really good food.

What have been the most challenging parts of living through a pandemic, from your perspective?

It’s really challenging because it’s the first time I’ve ever been through something like this. I was scared that the shelter would shut down and I would have to live on the streets. The streets is scary and I cannot live on the streets.

What have been the most informative or uplifting things you’ve experienced during this time?

The most uplifting thing has been staying here and not being left out on the streets, and I really appreciate this place because I have a place to stay during this time of need. I’m happy.

Is there anything else you would like to tell people?

Yes, if any women need a place to stay, this place would be the place to come. The food is really good. I like the staff. My friends are here too. My dog Cubby likes it here too.


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