Salvation Army shelter set up for homeless with COVID-19 symptoms

The Salvation Army's Joy Center opened to house those who don't have a place to self-quarantine or practice social distancing during the outbreak. 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A shelter is being set up for homeless people who are showing symptoms of or have tested positive for the novel coronavirus to give them a place to recover off the streets.

The Salvation Army's Angel Tree warehouse has been transformed into the Joy Center, an isolation facility, with a specific area for anyone who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. That's where they will remain, in isolation, while they recover. 

Men and women will be separated with curtains for added privacy.

The Salvation Army is providing the shelter at Mayor Greg Fischer's request as the virus continues to spread. The goal is to be prepared in case there's an increase in homeless people with the virus. 

The warehouse is split into two areas: one area is for people who have tested positive for COVID-19; the other is for people who are showing symptoms or have been in contact with someone with the virus.

Patients will receive three meals a day, and be provided access to showers and changing areas. The facility can hold up to 100 adults.

Anyone needing to use the center has to be referred by a doctor. 

The Salvation Army says homeless people who are showing symptoms will first be quarantined at their Brooks Street shelter. Only when the patient’s symptoms get severe as defined by the CDC will they be sent to the hospital. The Health Department and other medical providers will decide if the patient should be sent to the Joy Center. necessary the Patient will be sent to the Joy Center.

"The unsheltered -- they don't have a safe place or a home like you and I to go to and be isolated and protected until this thing passes," said Maj. Kathy Williams, Salvation Army of Louisville Area Commander. "They're out in the elements. They're out. We just want to make sure they're taken care of."

Once a shower trailer has been delivered, it could be ready to open by the end of the week. 

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