That more people have been rendered jobless and homeless by the pandemic is an issue governments around the world have to reckon with. But the focus on curbing infections and rebooting the economy means many street sleepers may not get the help they need. An overnight headcount by seven NGOs in early July showed some 1,530 people in Hong Kong had no fixed residence. This includes more than 500 who would travel back and forth to the mainland to live and work until border crossing restrictions forced them to stay in the city. The majority were street sleepers, while others stayed in subsidised hostels and other temporary accommodation. Half of the people in the survey were experiencing homelessness for the first time, with the duration for some up to 18 months, according to the study. The problem is further put into perspective in a Post report. One photo showed an underpass lined with makeshift dwellings; with one being so elaborate that it came with a metal gate, vases with plants and shelves full of household items. Another photo showed a shelter under a flyover, furnished with a bed, a table, chairs, clothing and magazine racks. We are not sure whether they are signs of the city’s growing acceptance of homelessness. But they show the issue has existed for some time and may well continue. Some countries have issued guidelines on how such citizens can stay healthy in the pandemic. According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, homeless people are at risk of infection in the event of a community spread. Thankfully, Hong Kong has not seen an outbreak for a long time. But street sleepers are still inconvenienced by health restrictions, the latest involving the mandatory use of the Covid-19 tracing app for entering government premises. There are concerns that they may not even be able to use public showers and other facilities. Homelessness is a matter of circumstances. The situation has been complicated by the prolonged pandemic, with many able and educated people still struggling to find a job. Given it may take more time for the border to reopen and the local job market is still under pressure, more temporary shelters and targeted services should be offered to the homeless.