Baltimore Mayor’s Office to Shelter Aging Homeless Population in Motels During Pandemic
The Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services announced Monday that homeless people over the age of 62 will begin to be transported to and housed in city motels as a means of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
“This effort allows our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness to isolate safely, while allowing our team to help monitor their health,” Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young (D) said in a statement.
According to a news release, 150 people living in three of the city’s emergency shelters are expected to be relocated this week. Those under 62 who remain sheltered at the Monument Street Shelter are to be moved to a larger space for social distancing purposes.
“We are relocating homeless individuals that are over 62 and residing in City shelters to motel rooms in order to help protect them from COVID-19,” said Office of Homeless Services Director Jerrianne Anthony in a statement. “We continue to work with our non-profit partners to provide safe lodging and support for all of our homeless clients.”
Anthony’s office has partnered with the Baltimore City Health Department and Healthcare for the Homeless to develop a virus screening procedure for the city’s vulnerable populations.
Baltimore joins a growing number of cities that have taken this step to protect their homeless populations, including Santa Fe, N.M., and New Haven, Conn.
The city said it has already taken steps to slow the virus’ reach to its homeless population, deciding to shelter those who have been tested for COVID-19 in motels to isolate them late last month.
Since March 20, over 50 of those individuals have been sequestered in motels.