APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) They are part of the forgotten during this pandemic –the homeless. And without proper care, they could affect our nation’s ability to curb this virus.
So the Clarion Inn in Appleton has opened its door to help those with no place to go.
This outreach came at a fortuitous time for the Clarion Inn as nearly half of the hotels in the U.S. are on the brink of collapse.
Clarion Inn, General Manager, Linda Barclay says, “In March, we were running about 10 to 15% occupancy, which wasn’t enough for us to be able to remain open. We started looking at some non-traditional ways to keep the lights on here.
To stay in business, the Clarion Inn is temporarily housing residents from Pillars Shelter, which is a win-win for both.
Barclay says, “Housing residents from Pillars did provide a little bit of financial relief that I was able to remain employed as well as some of my employees are getting paychecks as well.”
Pillars Adult Shelter, Manager Lauren Moen, says, “We went to the Clarion Inn purely for the safety of our staff our volunteers our clients.”
Shelters are meant to provide basic housing for residents, which makes social distancing difficult.
Moen says, “We kind of thought that if one person got sick in one big room and everyone’s interacting with each other there’s no way to isolate or anything. That would get a little tricky if someone got sick.”
Close living quarters and lack of testing make the homeless vulnerable, so the Clarion Inn and Pillars are making sure this silent population receives proper care.
Barclay says, “We’ve got gloves for the homeless and masks anything that they need. Residents are also checked daily. They have a health screening and the Pillars staff meet with each resident and take their temperature just to make sure nobody is a risk.”
Moen says, “Pillars has probably received 300 cloth masks. Clients turn in the masks every single day and we wash the masks every single day and then give them a new one every single morning.”
By providing a clean room for those with no place to go during this health crisis, our community is sheltered.
Barclay says, “We’re sanitizing daily, some things were sanitizing 3 or 4 times a day. We’re doing our best to make sure that now and in the future, anybody staying here is going to be safe. If there was ever a time to demonstrate care and compassion to people in our community, we thought this is the time.”
There are 90 residents from Pillars staying at the Clarion Inn and they can remain there until the end of June.