LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Multiple homeless shelters in Lansing are battling COVID-19 outbreaks and are unable to accept new intakes.
New Hope Community Center in downtown Lansing put up a sign on their door saying they can’t let anyone in right now.
“For everyone’s safety, services have been temporarily suspended. Beginning Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, we are closed to non-residents, the public and volunteers until Nov. 1, 2021,” the community center said on the sign on their door.
Multiple people at the shelter told 6 News that they are currently under quarantine.
Over at City Rescue Mission of Lansing, it’s more of the same.
“At this point, our women and children’s shelter is not able to do new intakes. We did have some women who tested positive for COVID who had no other place to go, and since we are not getting quarantine support from the health department, we are doing what we can to accommodate them on-site in separate rooms.”
Sharon Dade, President of Homeless and Housing Department for Holy Cross services says an outbreak doesn’t just paralyze one shelter, it could follow to others – putting more people at risk.
“Until we get through the next 10 days or whatever it takes to clear this up then we will not take any new intakes,” said Dade.
A similar situation can be seen at City Rescue Mission of Lansing, where the women and children’s shelter is also temporarily closed.
“That means that they come back to places like Holy Cross, or City Mission Homeless Angels in order to continue to survive.”
Dade says right now they’re working to increase vaccine education. To her knowledge, only 30% of the shelter population is vaccinated.
“At no time would we require people to vaccinate, but building incentive towards vaccination and education towards vaccination is important.
Prior to July, the Ingham County Health Department stepped in and housed people who tested positive offsite but now that service has ended.
Leaving shelters to deal with outbreaks alone. Something Dade worries will push shelter capacity limits and leave those most vulnerable at risk.