LAS VEGAS (KLAS) –Clark County announced that it will be expanding the Homeless Courtyard to accommodate the closure of Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, which temporarily closed its emergency night shelter for men, after it was discovered that there was a positive case of coronavirus in an individual who was accessing its homeless services.
According to Southern Nevada Health District, the man told health officials he accessed the services at the facilities while he was symptomatic.
Because of the confirmed case, Catholic Charities also temporarily suspended operations of Hands of Hope Community Food Pantry. Things are being assessed daily and CCSN is working in conjunction with the City of Las Vegas and Clark County to provide temporary and creative solutions as needed.
“We have been working closely with our community leaders on realistic and effective solutions and will do our best to keep our clients informed of any changes we are required to make to mitigate the inconvenience. That being said, it is imperative that we put health and safety first as we endeavor to continue to sustain and provide these important services,” Roberts said.
In a release to 8 News Now, Clark County said that it would be providing space for approximately 750 people to sleep Wednesday night.
“The County will continue to work with the City of Las Vegas, SNHD and our partners in the community on this issue, “ said Dan Kulin with the Clark County Office of Public Communications.
In a statement the City of Las Vegas also addressed the closure of Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, saying:
“The Southern Nevada Health District is coordinating the screening of individuals who may have come in contact with the homeless man who tested positive for the Coronavirus while at the Homeless Courtyard and Catholic Charities. The city is also working with Clark County and local homeless providers to expand the Courtyard operations onto Foremaster Lane to aid and expedite the screening process for those who may have been in contact with this individual.”City of Las Vegas
In the meantime, Catholic Charities says it has taken extra precautionary measures to ensure the agency’s ability to continue providing essential services to some of the most vulnerable populations in Southern Nevada. Since the onset of the coronavirus, the agency has continued to operate at a higher degree of sanitation protocols and procedures.
“Many factors go into deciding any operational change as we traverse unfamiliar territory during this pandemic,” said Deacon Tom Roberts, CEO, Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada. “We are steadfast on ensuring that we can support the health and well-being of our employees, volunteers and clients at this time, and remind the public that many services will not stop as we continue pursuing our mission to serve those in need.”
Catholic Charities said one of the community’s most vulnerable populations, seniors, will continue to receive Meals on Wheels deliveries as the agency continues to produce and deliver 2,200 meals per day. Safety measures are being implemented, including drop-off doorstep delivery and visual verification of food receipt after contacting the client by phone.
The free daily community meal, which typically serves more than 500 individuals in the St. Vincent Lied Dining Facility, has ramped up to 600 to 750 meals prepared and has shifted to being served outside in to-go containers. The Southern Nevada Health District inspected CCSN’s kitchen and food prep facilities to recertify the safe operation of the kitchen.
All case management services, including Adoption, Immigration and Migration services are now being handled by phone, while the English Language Program services are being conducted with online classes.
Additional precautionary measures taken at this time include the immediate suspension of all volunteer activity until further notice. As a result, the agency has adjusted its staffing levels so that ongoing operations of its other services can continue.
All employees that have decided to stay home will continue to be paid, while those still showing up for work are being screened on-site to make sure continued service is being provided safely and securely.
Catholic Charities is in need of monetary donations at this time and encourages anyone interested and able to do so go here.