Numbers continue to climb in St. Louis and our country regarding COVID-19. We continue to reach new records for hospitalizations and deaths.

However, if rent relief doesn’t come soon to our city — and every city in this country — we will have a bigger health crisis on our hands. If Congress cannot pass a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package that includes both rental relief and nutrition assistance, we could soon have millions of people hungry and sleeping in the streets in the dead of winter or living with relatives, which will only make the pandemic worse.

I call on our Sens. Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley to support a strong COVID-19 relief package that includes a 15% boost in the maximum Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit or at least $25 billion in rental assistance to prevent a mass homelessness crisis in the dead of winter.

Sarah Miller, of University City, is a teacher.

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