A Las Vegas parking lot was turned into a temporary shelter for hundreds of homeless people after a man staying at the brick-and-mortar shelter tested positive for coronavirus, forcing that facility to close.
The outdoor shelter, located in the parking lot of the Cashman Center, opened Saturday after the Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada — a 500-bed overnight men’s shelter — shut down as a result of a resident contracting the potentially deadly bug.
Photos of the vagrants at the temporary shelter show them close to each other lying on the concrete in the painted white boxes on the ground. Federal guidelines advise people to maintain a distance of six feet from others.
Lisa Morris Hibbler, chief community services officer for the city of Las Vegas, told 8 News Now that “we have it spaced so that they’re social distancing.”
The makeshift shelter will be open from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily, and the mats and blankets laid down for the homeless will be disinfected each day, officials said.
“We know we have one job as a public servant, and that is to serve the community, and I think that we’re showing that we do that well,” Hibbler said, adding that the space can hold about 400 people, according to the news outlet.
Before the homeless can enter the outdoor shelter, they have to be screened by Touro University medical students to see if they have coronavirus symptoms, 8 News Now reported.
Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones said in a statement, “We’re proud to be working in collaboration with the city to meet the needs of our homeless population and appreciate the quick response of the participants in standing up the facility so soon.”