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In need of disinfecting supplies: Homeless shelters need help protecting the population from contracting coronavirus

Homelessness
Posted at 7:40 AM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 08:57:43-04

WACO — Mission Waco is in desperate need of disinfectant supplies to protect one of our community's most vulnerable populations: the homeless.

"We're in massive need of masks, cleaning supplies, sanitation wipes, hand sanitizer. These are needs I think everybody has and everybody wants, so we're put in the same struggle and bind" explained Mission Waco Executive Director John Calaway.

Both the Meyer Center and My Brother's Keeper have extended their hours providing a safe haven for those that can't 'shelter in place.'

But as Covid-19 fears have grown, cleaning supplies have become in high demand, leaving the shelters with low supplies.

Low amounts of cleaning supplies, coupled with the current uncertainty of what to do if a person comes into the shelter while sick, have tensions high.

"All the communication in the nation and even Waco has been 'stay home for 14 days' and I'm sitting here going 'none of our homeless people have a home to go to.' This is the most vulnerable population in Waco for the most part. This could spread rapidly, and we definitely need a plan in place to quarantine those individuals pretty quickly," said Calaway.

The City of Waco and Mission Waco are game planning for the probable chance that a person sick with Covid-19 walks into the shelters.

But at this current time, there isn't a steadfast strategy.

Since the City of Waco has instructed the community not to seek help by arriving at local emergency rooms, Calaway is now working with the city towards a solution to keep all 40+ nightly homeless vistors healthy.

At this time, Mission Waco is requesting donations of hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray, disinfectant wipes, and funds.

They can be dropped off at their main office at 1315 N 15th St, Waco TX 76707.