COVINGTON, Ky. — Several homeless people have moved into hotels in Northern Kentucky.
The non-profit organization Welcome House is footing the bill.
Billy Parks, 62, is just one of the residents. Parks had been living on the streets since last October.
Parks said he lost his home in a dispute and since the coronavirus surfaced he was concerned for his safety.
“Well I kinda stayed away from people,” Parks said. “I didn’t get close to people. I was afraid of getting the virus and I didn’t want to do that.”
A few days ago, Parks started living in a hotel in northern Kentucky. We’re not disclosing the name to maintain privacy.
Parks says he’s grateful staying in the hotel.
Welcome House relocated the vulnerable population from the Northern Kentucky Convention Center into the hotel rooms should hospitals need the extra space.
“We have several families that are up in hotels that we are providing hotel lodgings for and then we took 42 individuals from the convention center and put them in a hotel as well,” said Danielle Amrine, CEO of Welcome House.
Amrine said the organization is paying for the 30-day quarantine issued by the state of Kentucky.
“We’re paying around, a little over $12,400 for blocks of rooms per week, so we’re probably thinking it’s going to cost upwards of $50,000 to $60,000 for a month to house these individuals,” Amrine said.
The organization will reassess at the end of the month should new factors surface related to the virus.
“For me when we told people at the convention center that we were moving them to a hotel, I mean a few of them cried,” Amrine said.
As for Parks, he has one message for people watching.
“If they don’t want to get sick to be careful and keep your distance from people and don’t go into big crowds,” Parks said.
The non-profit said moving the homeless into hotels is part of the third phase in the disaster plan to address the needs during the COVID-19 emergency.