Winter Homeless Shelters In Washtenaw County Open Early Due To COVID-19

Nov 2, 2020

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Washtenaw County opened its winter warming shelters at area churches early this year.  

Six congregations in Ann Arbor have partnered with the county to offer rotating overnight shelter from now through March.  The shelters usually open in mid-November or early December, but the goal is to make social distancing options available to the homeless during the pandemic.  Diane Heidt is the deputy county administrator.

Deputy County Administrator Diane Heidt: But it’s also key that we have screenings and other protocols in place to be monitoring, if someone is coming in with potential symptoms, then we send them directly to Michigan Medicine for testing.   

First Baptist of Ann Arbor and Zion Lutheran are among the congregations that will provide shelter to the homeless this winter.  The Meri Lou Murray Recreation Center in Ann Arbor is also providing overnight shelter to the homeless from 9 pm to 6 am.

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— Jorge Avellan is a reporter for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him javellan@emich.edu