Homeless shelter battles second wave of the pandemic


QUINCY, IL (WGEM) – The winter months and dropping temperatures always mean hard times for the homeless.

There has also been an added threat, COVID-19.

Salvation Army officials in Quincy said when case numbers saw a slight dip over the summer, they decreased some restrictions to be able to better serve their residents.

But with case numbers back up again this fall, that’s had to change.

“We kind of relaxed a little. We were back serving in the way we had before. We were still requiring the mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing, but with the increase in numbers we’ve backtracked.”


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Heidi Welty, Quincy Salvation Army regional social services director

Now they’re implementing regular cleaning and sanitizing to stop the spread.

Welty said they’re also requiring any residents who fail temperature checks or show symptoms to quarantine and take a test.

Salvation Army officials said they’re relying on technology for much of their work now, trying to contact their clients only by phone or email.

When they do have to meet with a client in person, they’re keeping all meetings under 10 minutes and requiring masks at all times.

To be able to help as many people as possible, they’re putting people up in local hotels with the help of Cares Acts funds.

“So we went from 14 to 17 people in shelter down to 10 because of the double bed requirement, so that allows us to use hotel motel to serve and shelter people. That’s been super wonderful and beneficial and right at the right time because it is starting to get cold.”


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Heidi Welty, Quincy Salvation Army regional social services director

Welty says despite the increased need, the shelter should still be able to accommodate anyone who comes looking for help.



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