St. Vincent de Paul Dayton launches Operation STOPCOVID
Dayton, Ohio: Today the St. Vincent de Paul Society homeless shelters launched Operation STOPCOVID, an effort to temporarily reduce the density of men, women, and children in shelter during the COVID-19 crisis. “Through the generosity of our benefactors, the help of Miami Valley RTA, and the wonderful cooperation of Red Roof Inns, we have temporary satellite shelters for over 80 guests, including 22 children. Though currently we are unaware of any confirmed COVID cases in our shelters, we need to stay ahead of the infection curve.”
St. Vincent staff will continue to work with the satellite shelter guests to find permanent housing, Michael Vanderburgh said. Individuals and families were selected based upon risk factors for possibly serious cases of COVID-19, such as age, physical disability, and chronic health conditions.
“This is a very expensive temporary solution that is draining our financial reserves, but we must do whatever we can to keep everyone as safe as possible while we are ‘flattening the infection curve’ so our hospitals do not become overwhelmed. For over 30 years the Miami Valley has trusted us to care for the homeless, and this is their greatest hour of need,” Vanderburgh said.
The 80 satellite shelter guests represent about twenty percent of the approximately 400 guests per night that St. Vincent currently shelters. “This will help us increase ‘social distancing’ in our two emergency shelters. We hope to secure more funding within the next few days to further increase the number of guests we can send to satellite shelters, and we are committed to maintain the satellite locations as long as necessary to flatten the COVID-19 infection curve.”
St. Vincent de Paul Society in Dayton, Ohio serves over 100,000 people annually with a focus on clothing, food, and shelter for individuals and families in need, including 11 food pantries, permanent supportive housing, and emergency shelter for over 4,000 men, women, and children. The Society, a Catholic lay association, operates in over 100 countries, with its world headquarters in Paris, where it was founded in 1833.