GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. –
Monday Governor Polis sent out an open letter to Colorado’s hotel and motel owners and operators. In the letter, the governor asked for help from operators in housing the state’s homeless population. “You have empty rooms and many of our cities have potential guests. A match made in heaven. We
have been working tirelessly with social service providers across the state to help, but additional
capacity to the shelter system is needed in order to lessen the spread of this contagious virus.”
In Grand Junction, HomewardBound of the Grand Valley is working hard to put amenities in place in case a client shows symptoms of COVID-19. (Something that has not happened yet) But, the organization is putting up emergency sheltering, and creating a special canopy that will have medical pods to house people who have symptoms- but have not gotten testing results back. If a test comes back positive, HomewardBound says that’s when the need to quarantine a client will come in.
As of right now, there are still a lot of question marks about how a lodging business would go about quarantining homeless patients. Questions like:
- What kind of liability would the businesses take on housing patients?
- Who would staff the hotel’s quarantined sections?
- How would staff operate in a hotel?
- What would food accommodations look like?
- Who would pay for the lodging cost?
Questions that are not addressed in the governor’s letter, however it does recognize “the many hurdles to overcome” and encourages businesses work with local leaders. Something Greg Moore of HomewardBound says, is happening, “I don’t think anybody is saying “no” we’re all saying how, and how quickly can we get this done. And we’re all working toward that end very feverishly.”