JOPLIN, Mo. — A shelter in Joplin is adapting amid the pandemic. The shelter is giving the homeless population a safe place to stay and helping them get back on their feet.
They say they have been seeing more people needing help during the pandemic.
“I don’t know what I would do without them. They helped me a lot within the past two days. No one has helped me as much as they have,” said Brittany Gerst, staying at Souls Harbor.
Brittany was homeless for three months and says Souls Harbor is turning her life around.
“They have helped me out a lot get back into god. I feel like god lead me here for a reason to help me get back on track cause I’ve asked him to lead me because since I lost my grandpa, I’ve been lost,” said Gerst.
During the pandemic, the shelter is requiring a coronavirus test for anyone needing short term housing. If anyone tests positive for the virus, they will go to a Joplin motel to quarantine while they’re sick and will be fed by the Salvation Army.
“Once your quarantine time is up, then you can come in with us. So although you’re positive its not disbarring,” said Daniel Gurley, housing unit director at Souls Harbor.
When the temperature outside hits 32 degrees or below, they have an overflow at 817 South Main.
“There we pray to god. We can’t test everybody that’s coming in from overflow, but we can’t have overflow here because we have everybody inside. We figure there we can social distance and get people in out of the cold,” said Gurley.
Brittany says Souls Harbor is giving her a second chance.
“It feels good, it feels like I’m home and where I need to be to start my new life,” she said.
Brittany is working on getting a job and hopes to join the National Guard or become a police officer.
Right now, Souls Harbor is at full capacity, but they offer housing to those in need for up to three months.