Nashville to open shelters for homeless impacted by COVID-19


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville is opening up some shelters for those experiencing homelessness who are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help with the outbreak, the city is hoping to open three shelters Thursday for the homeless, one of which will be located at the Nashville Fairgrounds.

The shelters will be divided into three groups: one for those who are well, another for people who have been tested for the virus and need to self-isolate and the last for anyone who has tested positive but doesn’t need to be hospitalized.

The city has already installed nine public hand washing stations across town for those who might not have easy access to sanitization.

Organizers said they hope this helps with the overflow at local shelters.

“The rescue mission has to do spacing between people, they have more people than they have space for. They have to come to another location, they are bringing about half the people from the Rescue Mission here, they are going to set up 200 cots, food, beverage, take care of people here, they are bringing in washers and dryers to do laundry,” explained volunteer Norm Partin.

Officials are calling on doctors and dental offices that have closed or delayed elective procedures to contribute. They are asking for donations for surgical face masks and N-95 masks, isolation gowns, gloves and wipes. The drop off location is at the assessment center on Omohundro Place.

“Thanks to the generous contribution of many individuals of our drive, as well as many other sources through the unified command, state and federal level, we’re essentially there with the PPE that we feel we need. The testing swabs are something we’re working very closely with our state partners to obtain. I’m hoping we’re able to get enough to at least give Nashville a good couple of weeks or so and the ability to be tested. Once we do that, we can roll out these community assistance centers. These centers have been constructed, we have staffing ready to go, we are just really waiting for the supplies,” said Dr. Alex Jahangir with the Metro Coronavirus Task Force.

Metro personnel will be at all of the shelters to help check people in. The locations of the two additional shelter was not immediately released.

COVID-19 shelter
(Photo: WKRN)

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