Homeless Alliance In Need Of Medical Professionals For New Shelters


Monday, May 25th 2020, 6:28 am
By: Caleb Califano


OKLAHOMA CITY -

A program with the hope of providing homeless people with a place to go if they’d been exposed to COVID-19 is now two weeks in.

There have been road bumps, but organizers are still hopeful for the future.

Dan Straughan with the homeless alliance says so far it's been a difficult process hiring medical professionals inside of these shelters.

The shelters can pay workers through the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, but that many healthcare professionals are already working at hospitals. But with recent furloughs and layoffs from hospitals across the metro, they hope to change that and possibly draw in more workers who currently don't have jobs.

Another problem is the numbers. The homeless alliance says there have only been four COVID-19 cases among the homeless population in Oklahoma City, all of them coming from correctional facilities.

While the number is low, Straughan said many times diseases like COVID-19 hit the homeless population much later than normal. But even with these low numbers, he says the shelters are always on standby.

“Both of them, while they are empty,  are buttoned up and we can open either or both within 24 hours,” he said.

The good news is that there has been a rise in hospitals using technology like telehealth to do check-ins with the homeless population, instead of having to do it in person, Staughan said.