Saratoga Shelters plan to continue helping homeless as they prepare for possible coronavirus outbreak

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Saratoga Shelters says they have put together a rapid response plan for the homeless who are more vulnerable to COVID-19. They say because many homeless are living with pre-existing health conditions and lack of clean living spaces an outbreak within the population would be hard to contain.

In an effort to provide greater separation in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the city council voted to convert the Senior Center on William Street into an emergency shelter which will house homeless staying at 4 Adelphi.

“Our team is so grateful to Saratoga Spring’s City Council and Mayor Meg Kelly for their unanimous vote, said Saratoga Shelters Executive Director Karen Gregory. “In this new location, we will have three rooms which will easily allow for separation. I am proud and grateful to work in a city that cares so deeply for its most vulnerable.”

Gregory said the open setting at Code Blue emergency shelters would not allow for the quarantining of an individual diagnosed with the coronavirus. She also said shelter staff is working unconventional hours to provide secure coverage.

“This is a difficult time and we do not have the luxury of working remotely.  We are here, present and in the trenches – side by side the individuals we are serving,” she said.

The shelter is working to get information about COVID-19 to homeless individuals staying in motels and staff is checking guests for symptoms associated with the virus. Gregory said if an outbreak among the population occurs they would have to rely on the support of the Department of Health, social services and local hospitals.

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