St. Louis County Is Buying Up Hotel Rooms For Homeless People Who Need To Be In Quarantine
According to the Star Tribune St. Louis County is prepared to spend anywhere between $450,000 and $500,000 on hotel rooms for homeless people who need to quarantine because of Covid-19 pandemic. CHUM Center at the Emergency Shelter in Duluth have already paid for a handful of homeless clients to stay at hotels until the results return on their status of the Covid-19 virus.
The director of CHUM Lee Stuart told Star Tribune " We've had a luxury with not much transmission here in St. Louis County yet to be able to be executing a plan rather than creating it in the midst of chaos,"
Lee has been meeting with local officials to figure out the best way to isolate those with nowhere to go at a time when Minnesotans have been ordered to stay at home. The CHUM Shelter can hold up to 70 people and has more than that on occasion, Lee is hoping that some of the clients will be moved to hotels today.
According to a statement St. Louis County plans on using 90 rooms at four different hotels which will not be named to protect the privacy of the clients seeking shelter and needing isolation. According to Star Tribune report "Outside of the Twin Cities, Duluth has the largest homeless population in the state, according to 2018 data from Wilder Research. St. Louis County's per capita rate of homeless residents is higher than even Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, according to census estimates for the same year."
Amy Westbrook, director of St. Louis County's public health division said to Star Tribune "We are very appreciative to these hospitality industry partners for stepping up to help us provide this essential service. Each of the hotels offered us significantly reduced rates because they recognize the need and want to do their part to serve our community. Having a safe place to isolate these vulnerable citizens protects not just the people needing shelter, but our entire community."