LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville's Salvation Army Joy Center is turning its facility into a shelter for the first time, to protect people who are homeless from the coronavirus.
The facility will house and divide up to 100 men and women who have either tested positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has the virus.
"They only have the outdoors and so we're trying to help that community," area commander, Major Kathy Williams said. "We can all get through this together."
The Joy Center is open around Christmas for its annual 'Angel Tree' drive and is not used for the rest of the year. Shelving units have turned into dozens of beds.
"Those that are unsheltered, they are just as precious to us as if hey had a shelter so we want to make sure that their health and well-being is met," Williams said.
City leaders will provide a shower and laundry trailers and toilet facilities. The 35,000 square ft. building has enough space for them to quarantine, according to Williams.
"We have 6 feet between everybody," Williams said. "It's a pretty large area so they can space themselves out."
Healthcare workers from Phoenix Medical Center will have on personal protective equipment while they treat the men and women.
"They're going to be quarantined and isolated for the 7 to 14 days or whatever period that is acceptable," Williams said.
As a security measure, Louisville Metro Police Officers will stand outside the building 24 hours each day to monitor the area.
The shelter will remain open as long as there is a need.