Columbus and Partners Announced New Shelter For Homeless Population COVID-19
The City of Columbus, Community Shelter Board and YMCA of
Central Ohio announced the opening of a new shelter for homeless residents who
have either tested positive for COVID-19 or have been determined by a medical
professional to be showing symptoms of COVID-19. The location of the shelter is
not being released to protect the privacy of the residents.
“COVID-19 is presenting a number of serious challenges to
our community, especially our most vulnerable residents,” said Mayor Andrew J.
Ginther. “Our homeless shelters are not built for social distancing which is a
key to slowing the spread of this infection. The new shelter will help
quarantine and isolate homeless residents so they can recover without exposing
Community Shelter Board raised the issue that more than
1,200 people sleep in homeless shelters in Columbus and Franklin County on any
given night, while an estimated 600 or more are on the streets, an increase
caused in part by recent job losses in connection with efforts to stop the spread
“Public, private and non-profit sectors working together
made this shelter possible, which can care for around 90 households at a time,”
said Michelle Heritage, Executive Director of Community Shelter Board. “We will
need continued support as we expect the surge in COVID-19 cases to continue to
impact people experiencing homelessness.”
The YMCA of Central houses 1,800 Columbus residents
experiencing homelessness to include men, women and children. Earlier this
month, they opened their Downtown Branch facility as a social distancing
center, sheltering 200 men nightly.
“The YMCA of Central Ohio is proud to serve over 100,000
community members annually through our wellness, student success and housing
and shelter work. We have been evolving over the past 164 years to meet
the needs of Central Ohio and I look forward to us continuing this evolution of
serving Central Ohio,” said Tony Collins, President and CEO of YMCA of Central
The shelter will be staffed by volunteers from the Franklin
County Medical Reserve Corps, volunteer medical, public health and other
professionals who contribute their expertise during times of crisis.
View the video press conference announcing the opening here.