STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — Homeless men who are fighting COVID-19 now have a place to stay in San Joaquin County.
The Gospel Center Rescue Mission’s newly renovated house in downtown Stockton is now open to be the new home for 12 COVID-19 patients experiencing homelessness.
“Welcome to one of the only facilities of its kind in San Joaquin County,” Gospel Center Rescue Mission Stockton CEO Wayne Richardson told FOX40.
“It’s heaven sent,” said Joan Singson, who is on San Joaquin General Hospital’s population health team. “We’re talking about individuals who may be positive for COVID-19, but don’t really have the symptoms that require them to be at a hospital.”
Singson said she continues to ask San Joaquin cities to do more and help the homeless who are COVID-19 positive.
Richardson said county, city, and non-profit leaders came together to provide this space.
“We want these patients, these clients to heal,” explained Richardson. “We’ve done great lengths to have it air-conditioned, to have TV, to make it, they’re isolating inside comfortable. “
The well-being of patients and staff have also been considered including the addition of barriers and other methods to keep the virus contained.
Richardson said they’ve installed many safety features inside of this house, including a plastic screen that will separate the COVID-19 positive patient from anyone who may be trying to help them.
The house will also serve as a window to how this virus works, according to Richardson.
“Really needed a pilot program to understand what we might face in a bigger wave that might be coming,” explained Richardson.
After about two weeks, when the patients are well, staff will offer them even more resources
“What we’re really hoping is that we can help them transition into something different but back on the streets,” said Recuperative Care Director Sandra Deaver.
Richardson says the first resident moved in Wednesday with two more expected to move in later this week.
United Way, Dignity Health and Saint Joseph’s Hospital are among the groups that helped open up this new facility.