WALLINGFORD — Columbus House has announced that as of Tuesday, clients who would normally stay at the Wallingford Emergency Shelter instead will go to a Middletown hotel.
The move is intended to keep those experiencing homelessness safe in light of the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases throughout the state.
“Since social distancing is next to impossible in the traditional shelter setting, clients will receive shelter and services at the hotel for their safety,” John Brooks, Columbus House chief development officer, said in a statement.
The move affects single adults only. Wallingford’s family shelter will be unaffected, according to the statement.
Eight Wallingford adult clients who are currently on the Coordinated Access Network’s shelter wait list are slated to receive services from shelter staff at the Wesley Inn & Suites, 988 Washington St. in Middletown.
Transportation to Middletown for those coming from Wallingford will be arranged through the network. The Wallingford Emergency Shelter is located at 123 Quinnipiac St.
Those eligible to receive services at the hotel must currently be on the Middlesex, Meriden, Wallingford Coordinated Access Network unsheltered wait list. There are currently 46 individuals and four families from the region on that list.
The cost to provide shelter at the hotel is being covered by the state Department of Housing. Meals will be provided by St. Vincent de Paul Middletown. Grants from the Middletown Health Department, the city’s Community Development Block Grant and individual and business financial contributions will cover staff and other costs.
The Community Health Center of Middletown will provide bi-weekly COVID-19 tests and representatives from River Valley Services will provide overnight staff two nights a week to assist with behavioral health needs. United Way of Meriden & Wallingford and the Middlesex United Way donated personal protective equipment for clients and staff.
Other partners include the Middletown Police Department, the Coalition on Housing and Homelessness, the Middletown Mayor’s Task Force on Homelessness, the Wallingford Mayor’s Office and the Wallingford Department of Social Services.
Columbus House provides a array of services designed to help people move out of homelessness and into housing.