FLINT — Shelter of Flint has moved its administrative personnel out of the shelter on Cedar Street and into a property it owns on East Sixth Street in Flint’s Fairfield Village.
The move is designed to create more space for residents of the shelter. This will allow for better distancing in consideration of COVID-19 protocols. It will also provide an isolation area for residents who are exhibiting symptoms of the illness but who are not sick enough to warrant hospitalization.
In March, when stay-at-home orders took effect, Shelter of Flint, with the goal to create a safer environment for residents, temporarily halved the capacity of the 70-bed emergency shelter that serves individuals and families experiencing homelessness. “With the resumption of evictions in the state,” said Interim President and CEO Linda Bielskis, “we knew we had to prepare for a surge of newly homeless families.” The Shelter now has 75 residents and space is being prepared for still more.
Residents of Shelter of Flint typically stay 30-90 days. “COVID has changed the way we operate,” added Bielskis. “Because we always make sure our residents have a permanent home to go to before they leave, some families are staying with us even longer now and because they now spend most of their time in the building, we simply had to make more space for them.”
Some of the vacated space is being transformed into isolation rooms for potential COVID patients. “We’re hopeful we won’t need to use the isolation rooms, but need to be prepared for any eventuality,” said Bielskis. “We have been fortunate that we have not yet had a COVID case in our shelter, and we plan, through vigilance, to keep it that way.”
When COVID is no longer a threat, the isolation rooms will be used for additional shelter beds and will increase Shelter of Flint’s capacity to serve those in our community who are experiencing homelessness.
The administrative office is located at 902 E. Sixth Street in Flint and can be reached by phone at 810-715-9201. The shelter is located at 924 Cedar Street in Flint. The crisis line is 810-239- 5433.
Details: Visit shelterofflint.org. — G.G.