Portable washing stations available to help homeless in the days of the coronavirus


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – It’s a population already at risk and now facing the danger of the coronavrius.

Cindy Murphy Kelly is the executive director of the Chatham Savannah Authority for the Homeless. In an effort to try and stop the spread of the virus, the Authority has worked with the city of Savannah and the Tourism Leadership Council to set up hand washing stations for the homeless. There will be two water trucks and they will be rotated every three days to the larger homelss camps.

“So that folks in the largest camps will have access to water and soap,” she says. “We have 35 homeless camps and we have expressed concerns about them for a number of years and so the city stepped up.”

The city is providing the water trucks and the tourism group has offered supplies of soap. In addition, the water truck offers drinking water. Murphy Kelly says bottled water is in short supply these days.

She says the Authority still needs donations of masks, hand sanitizers and especially of paper towels. She says it does no good to wash your hands if you have to dry them on your dirty clothes. “We really do need disposable hand wipes that’s really what it is so when people wash their hands they don’t rub it all over whatever else and try to be frugal with them but throw it away when its used,” she told me.

The Authority has also set up a tent in the parking lot of the DFSC Building on Wheaten Street because the virus is limiting access to the building. Murphy Kelly says a population that was already living on the edge in terms of physical and mental health is now even more at risk.

“It’s very stressful and the shelters are not taking additional folks so there are additional folks on the street,” she said. “And so we’re concerned about their mental health but we’re also concerned of our regular feeding sites have closed and so for some people they may only be eating once a day and that’s a recipe for getting sick.”

Despite the issue, she says they’re more committed than ever to serving the hundreds of homeless in our community.

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