March 20, 2020
A letter from Danielle Amrine, CEO
There are at least 2,000 homeless citizens living in Kenton, Boone and Campbell counties. Aside from being the right thing to do, addressing the needs of our homeless citizens is a critical link in the chain to limit the scope and speed of the virus’s spread. Researchers say that if COVID-19 reaches the homeless, it would present a potentially fast-moving hazard – both to those living in encampments as well as those living in our shelters, outreach workers, nearby residents and health providers.
In response, Welcome House has implemented its infectious disease protocol. Our shelter is on lockdown, our Kings Crossing location is shut down and services are being provided out of our 205 Pike Street building in a limited capacity. 70% of our staff are working from home. We are utilizing hotel rooms for clients that have compromised immune systems and are at the highest risk. We are also trying to utilize hotel stays to get families who are on the streets off the streets. We have partnered with registered nurses from NKU to provide testing for shelter clients and staff and to treat anyone with symptoms to help lessen the strain on our healthcare system.
Externally, we are working closely with homeless-related organizations as well as county and city officials and health departments to implement a coordinated response. We have offered our Garden Center in Covington as an isolation or quarantine facility. Welcome House Street and Medical Outreach teams are still going out to camps and other areas to check on people and take temperatures; if they encounter someone with symptoms, the NKU RNs can test them. We are distributing critical supplies that include hand sanitizer, emergency blankets, and packs of food, and providing handouts and education.
In the weeks and months ahead, Welcome House and its partner organizations will require food and supplies of every kind. If you are interested in donating funds and/or supplies, please follow this link.
Thank you for your interest in and concern for our homeless citizens. We are truly all in this together.
Danielle Amrine, CEO