Waco starts ‘Hotels for Homeless’ to limit COVID-19 spread

Local News

WACO, Texas: The city of Waco has started a new campaign which helps the homeless community both get tests and self-quarantine.

“We have a partnership with a local hotel to provide lodging for homeless individuals and/or couples or families who are awaiting either testing results from COVID-19 tests or have actually tested positive,” Waco’s Housing and Code Enforcement Director Galen Price said.

According to Price, the city’s last count at the beginning of 2020 revealed they had over 230 homeless people living in Waco.

With most living in shelters, the city wants to limit the chances of an outbreak within these communities.

“These individuals are in groups, they’re in crowds, so they’re essentially gathered indoors,” Price said. “If one becomes infected, they have the potential to cause a community spread.”

On top of helping out the city, the program also helps hotels during a dry tourist season.

“It provides them a source of revenue and allows them to have some sort of occupancy rate in their hotels during the time of this pandemic,” Price said.

Price says the city has helped 10 people quarantine through the program and two have tested positive for the virus. He also estimates the average stay for the 10 people at the hotel has been five nights.

As long as the virus is rampant, the program will be there.

“The goal is to keep the program going until the spread is somewhat contained or slows down,” Price said. “It varies at this point each day.”

The city did not reveal the location of the hotel.

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