There have been a lot of questions about what is being done to help the homeless in our community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s the latest from Community Partnership of the Ozarks:

The Community Partnership of the Ozarks and partner agencies stand with our unsheltered population as we combat the outbreak of COVID-19.

In the wake of the shelter in place order, homeless shelters are considered an essential business and will remain open.

Community partners will continue to work to provide resources to our homeless population.

Community Partnership of the Ozarks’ Ozarks Alliance to End Homelessness (OAEH), the HUD-designated regional Continuum of Care, has established a COVID-19 Task Force to develop and implement a shelter, containment, quarantine and isolation plan for those who are homeless.

The COVID-19 Task Force includes direct homeless service providers, advocates and representatives from City of Springfield, the Greene County Health Department, the Greene County Office of Emergency Management, MSU Care, Mercy and CoxHealth.

The COVID-19 Task Force collects and disseminates information, procedures and policies that are currently in place or that need to be created to keep the homeless population and those who provide services safe and healthy.

This includes immediate responses to directives and guidelines from the CDC and Springfield-Greene County Health Department, as well as ordinances and protocols from the City of Springfield and Greene County, as they develop to modify homeless program and service delivery.

Service providers will continue to offer shelter and meal access according to City ordinances. The COVID-19 Task Force is working to provide information to service providers and advocates, as well as our unsheltered population, as access to critical services is adapting and changing as we receive new or updated information regarding COVID-19 response.

On Wednesday, March 25th at 10:30 a.m. we will hold a press briefing via Facebook Live to further address the impacts of the shelter in place order on our homeless population. During the briefing media can submit questions by texting Springfield Police Department Public Affairs Officer Jasmine Bailey.

As Clay Goddard, Director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, and Mayor Ken McClure have asked, we encourage community members to be patient as we work collaboratively to modify processes and find solutions quickly. For the most current information regarding available resources, visit cpozarks.org/covid19.

We are working as quickly as possible to collect, organize and share up-to-date resource information with the community.

We stand with the citizens of Springfield and will provide continual updates on efforts to service our unsheltered community.

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