Christian Shelter Inc. getting the homeless population COVID-19 testing in Salisbury

SALISBURY, Md.- The coronavirus pandemic has put a huge strain on some peoples’ lives, but the Christian Shelter here told 47ABC that getting COVID-19 testing for the homeless population has been a huge struggle.

“All of the shelters here on the Eastern Shore, they stopped taking in guests because we just did not have the means to test these individuals,” Anthony Dickerson, Director of the Christian Shelter, said.

The Christian Shelter was forced to close their doors in March due to the fact that they couldn’t test their guests for COVID-19 something that’s crucial in keeping everyone safe.

“Homeless people are at risk because of the means that they do, they take money from peoples hands, they take food from people so they are more at risk,” LaToya Maddox , registered nurse at Seaford Genesis.

Dickerson said he knew he had to do something, so he teamed up with the local medical community to get testing for his guests.

“I thought it was in the best interest of the shelter to try to work with or to get some nurses in here to help,” Dickerson said.

And some nurses in the community didn’t hesitate to step up.

“I see what it does to the body, I see what it does to the family, I see the impact that it has on the community. So when I was asked about this opportunity, I definitely wanted to jump in and get ahead of the situation,” Chantel Mcnealy, registered nurse at Anchorage Nursing and Rehab, said.

In June, the nurses will begin taking assessments, temperatures and vital signs of guests, and will even educate staff and guests about the pandemic.

“In the event that something happens, we gave them a plan of what can be done if they suspect that something is going on,” Maddox said.

Until the testing at the Christian Shelter begins, nurses are calling on the community to get involved and help out their local shelters in any way they can.

“There’s a need for masks I think, there’s a need for testing, if there’s anyone in the community that can assist in that that would be great,” Mcnealy said.

The director told 47ABC that although he will have nurses working at the shelter, he doesn’t have plans of reopening until the summer.

Dickerson said the idea to have nurses help out came about three weeks ago.

He said since having to close he’s had to turn down many families because he’s not allowing new guests at this time.

If you’re interested in helping the Christian Shelter during this time, you can reach out to the shelter at 410- 749-5673.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, Maryland