Rising Covid outbreak costs leaves Hope Shelters needing a helping hand

Brian Wright is the executive director at Hope Shelters in Pontiac serves 400 people each year - helping them find permanent housing.

Hope Shelters and offers a place to live in the interim - with beds for 60 people in need.

"A lot of us are one paycheck away from disaster - these are folks that have experienced that disaster," said Brian Wright, the executive director. "We really focus on the guest - we want to do what's best for each guest.

And right now that means moving many people into hotel rooms instead of the shelter - because so many guests are sick - with Covid, since the mask mandate ended a couple of weeks ago.

"Immediately we started having a Covid outbreak - we had a single person that tested positive and then10 and then another 10 and another," Wright said. "Right now we have 36 people in isolation for Covid.

"Everybody wants this to go away but it's still here."

Another person just tested positive Tuesday morning, resulting in another hotel room, another expense - to keep that person isolated, and to keep everybody else safe.

"My worst nightmare is to discover that one of our guests will pass away from Covid that we should have protected them from," he said. "We consider ourselves an advocacy-first agency. We're first here to meet the needs of these guests and worry about the cost of it later."

But the cost is more than Hope Shelters can afford. It already has a floor that has to be repaired, and now this. The outbreak is costing them about $18,000.

"This round taps us out - we have exhausted our funding," Wright said.

An organization that assists so many in the community - now needs the community to assist them.

"We need some help so that we're prepared for continuing this - otherwise I don't know what we'd do," he said.

To donate or learn more about Hope Shelters, go to the link for HopeShelters.org HERE.