LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - For the first time the Salvation Army Joy Center is filled with beds to provide a space for Louisville’s homeless population during the spread of the coronavirus. The organization wants to help people who don’t have a place of their own to self-isolate or practice social distancing.
The Joy Center on Kenjoy Drive is divided in half. One side is for patients showing possible symptoms and the other side is for patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.
The Joy Center was used exclusively for sorting and handing out Angel Tree gifts during the holidays. Now, Major Kathy Williams said the shelves serve a new purpose. Everything has been packed up and replaced with beds. The city asked the Salvation Army to help create a safe space for people who don't have homes in Louisville. Williams said the homeless population is vulnerable to getting and spreading the virus.
"They don't have a home to go to like you and I,” Williams said. “Where we can isolate ourselves and be protected they are out in the community and they are walking around."
Williams said the Joy Center can house about 100 people who show symptoms for or have the virus. Men and women will be separated on the quarantine and isolation side, be medically monitored and receive three meals a day. The shelter on Brook Street is still running and a day shelter was set up in the gym for those with no symptoms.
Major Williams said the shelter is ready to go it’s just waiting for shower, bathroom and laundry facilities from the city.