Date: March 31, 2020
For Immediate Release
For more information: See Below
Washtenaw County Increases Resources for the Homeless Community
ANN ARBOR, MI -- Washtenaw County is increasing resources to respond to the impact of COVID-19 on people experiencing homelessness. As we work to provide options for everyone while also meeting standards for physical distancing and the state’s shelter in place order, our priority remains the health and safety of emergency shelter clients, staff and the general public.
This week marks the seasonal end of the Warming Center and Rotating Shelters, but after much discussion, exploration and coordination by multiple Washtenaw County departments and the Shelter Association, the following changes will be implemented:
- Reduce the number of Delonis Shelter clients to maintain adequate space for physical distancing standards to prevent the spread of illness. Meals will continue to be provided by Food Gatherers Community Kitchen to Delonis Center residents and other members of the community.
- Provide additional emergency shelter at area hotels with on-site staffing. Current plans are in place to move Warming Center and Rotating Shelter residents into hotel rooms on April 1.
- Three meals per day will be provided to emergency shelter residents in the hotel. Transportation and laundry are still in the works. Access to the internet is available at the hotel sites.
- Emergency shelter clients staying in the hotels will continue to receive Case Management (virtually, to the greatest extent possible) through the Shelter Association and Behavioral Health supports, provided by Washtenaw County Community Mental Health.
Housing Access of Washtenaw County (HAWC) continues to operate its call center and is available for phone screenings. In order to comply with the Stay at Home order, every effort will be made to divert individuals from the emergency shelter system at this time. Anyone who is homeless or experiencing a housing crisis should call HAWC at (734) 961-1999.
As conditions and guidance are constantly changing, SAWC and the County will keep the community informed through periodic updates. If you have questions, please contact Susan Susan Ringler Cerniglia of the Washtenaw County Health Department at [email protected], Teresa Gillotti of the Office of Community and Economic Development (homelessness system contact) [email protected] and Alize Azberry Payne, Washtenaw County Racial Equity Officer [email protected].