LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the state will spend $5-million to help the homeless population in Arkansas during the health crisis.
As Arkansans are self-isolating in their homes, people in the homeless community are still finding a safe place to stay at night. Many turn to the Little Rock Compassion Center.
“If it wasn’t handled properly it could spread real quickly, but if we can get a handle on it before it’s started. Then we’re going to be safer,” Pastor William Holloway said.
Pastor Holloway is the executive director. The faith-based non-profit is a shelter. They also feed those in need. Dozens of people come to the Compassion Center every day. But now, Pastor Holloway says, they’ve had to make changes.
“We only let 36 people into the kitchen at a time and we only allow 4 people to pass through the front door at a time,” he said.
Pastor Holloway says if COVID-19 spreads through the homeless population it could be detrimental. Many he serves have underlying conditions, like heart troubles, diabetes, and lung issues.
He says they are renovating a women’s and children’s shelter. In the meantime, it can also use it to quarantine someone if they get sick.
“If somebody is sick and can not be out in time, this is a safe haven for them.”
Holloway says no one he’s seen has had symptoms, but his staff is constantly monitoring.
“Everybody is being checked as they come in to make sure nobody is sick.”
Pastor Hollaway says there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. The Compassion Center is working on finishing the building as quickly as possible.