Local task force created to help the homeless

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– A local homelessness task force has been created to help those without shelter have a place to go under the new stay at home order.

Non-profits will now be meeting every day to streamline their efforts and make sure facilities are practicing social distancing.

Heather Michelle Garand, with Community Partnership of the Ozarks, says on a given day there are anywhere from 200 to 250 homeless individuals in Springfield. There have been no positive cases of COVID-19 within the homeless community.

So far, the task force is taking steps to make sure if there is a positive COVID- 19 case, the virus wouldn’t spread within shelters.

Shelters like Harbor House in Springfield have had to change up their layout.
Byron Brown says a room that once held up to 26 people is now only holding 10.
He says residents will switch rooms every few days and even have shifted when they can eat meals in the dining room.

Brown says residents are free to leave and get fresh air and exercise, but the staff is asking them where they are going and where they have been to make sure they aren’t running the risk of coming into contact with some who’s sick.
Garand says although those details have already been worked out, the task force is still deciding how to use the pool of resources in the best way.

Garand says they are also working on getting some homeless individuals into hotels and plan to set up collection sites around Springfield so folks can donate clothing.

He says a lot of it is still in the works, but they mostly want to be able to provide medical resources, hygiene, education, and places for people to quarantine and isolate if they need to.

Click here to listen to this morning’s press conference.

For more information visit http://www.cpozarks.org/covid19/

Here is a list of supplies they need to be donated right now.

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