26 Mar March 23, 2020
Homeless Authority Sets Up Hand Washing, Donation Collection and Homeless Information Stations
Public hand-washing stations are being set up in various areas of the city to help protect homeless people and the public at large from transmission of the COVID-19 virus. But Homeless Authority Director Cindy Murphy Kelley seeks the community’s help in providing additional supplies, especially paper towels, which are in short supply.
“We have worked with the city, the Tourism Leadership Council, and hotels to provide soap and water in strategic locations to facilitate hand washing – the best defense against the spread of the virus,” Kelley said. “But that does little good if the hand washer has no way to dry their hands other than to wipe them on clothing that may already be affected.”
Homeless Authority board members have purchased a tent to be erected in front of the office building where the Authority is located, at 761 Wheaton Street, beginning Monday, March 23. Staff will be on hand to field requests for help from homeless individuals. A collection point for donated items will also be on site.
Hand-washing and donation stations are being set up at:
1. Beginning – Monday, March 23
a. Drop 1 – Wastewater Treatment Plant for Truman Parkway
b. Drop 2 – Open City Lot off Pritchard & Louisville Road c. Drop 3 – Any Savannah fire station or Chatham County Police Precinct (for drop-offs only)
2. Thursday, March 26
a. Drop 4 – Southside Lowes, next to the Home and Garden/wooded area
b. Drop 5 – Stiles camp (close to Pritchard but easy walk-up)
Besides paper towels, other items needed are: masks, gloves, toilet paper rolls, hand sanitizer, and plastic or paper garbage bags. Please DO NOT drop off these or any other items, including clothes, at homeless camps. Doing so impedes the efforts of Kelley and her staff to deal with the COVID-19 emergency and contributes to garbage and unsanitary conditions at the camps.
The telephone hotline to help is (912) 790-3400.
Chatham County is the 2nd most homeless-populated region in Georgia. More homeless are expected as businesses close and people lose their jobs and face eviction because they are unable to pay rent. State officials are asking landlords to stay evictions. Kelley is working with local and state officials and CEMA to address these issues as well as establishment of a triage center for homeless victims in Chatham County. This will also require donations of space, staff, and medical supplies.
“This virus danger presents a challenge no one, including us, has faced before,” said Kelley. “No one has a road map. The only way to defeat this danger is to work together.”