Guilford County's COVID-19 Response Task Force Bears Fruit

Guilford County's COVID-19 Response Task Force Bears Fruit

4:01pm Apr 16, 2020
A small group gathers on the lawn to hear Phase Band during the Festival for the Homeless that took place on Saturday, September 7, at Gateway Commons Park in Winston-Salem. DAVID FORD/WFDD

A Guilford County initiative to help the homeless during the pandemic is starting to bear fruit. Clients with COVID-19 now have a place to quarantine. 

The COVID-19 response task force identified two primary strategies: socially distancing the shelters and their occupants, and forging a viable path forward once clients begin testing positive.

Brian Hahne is with Partners Ending Homelessness, the organization spearheading the response team. He says the challenge is providing specialized health care to shelter clients without overrunning the local hospitals, but he’s feeling increasingly confident.

"I think the strength that we have is that this is 40 agencies coming together," says Hahne. "This is two cities working hand-in-hand with the county’s leadership. This is twelve shelters all hands on deck saying, 'Okay we’re going to take care of our folks no matter what.' To me, that’s very strong."

Hahne says the county provided a centrally-located hotel in Guilford County. Area shelter clients who are symptomatic of COVID-19 are permitted to stay for up to 14 days. The city is providing transportation, lodging, food, and on-site security costs. Additional supportive services are being overseen by Partners Ending Homelessness.   

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