COLUMBUS, Ohio  A homeless shelter in Central Ohio is taking extra steps to cut down on the spread of the Coronavirus.

  • The shelter currently screens for symptoms
  • Overflow site to open Friday
  • Site normally sees about 700/night

The Van Buren enter in Columbus serves about 700 people on any given night, and with Ohio’s cold nights, the demand is even more. With new Coronavirus regulations, the shelter’s CEO said it’s making it tougher to serve all who come and is looking for guidance from state and local health officials.

"With winter overflow being at 200, the spacing for our residents, for our visitors is entirely too tight. We're not anywhere close to the social distancing recommendations of our healthcare professionals," said Tony Collins, the CEO of the Van Buren Center.

To help ease space constraints, the center will open a new site Friday, in an old health and wellness center about a half-mile away. Those on the center’s overflow list will be sent to the new location.

"What we're hoping that will do is create space and here at Van Buren, which will allow our regular visitors, so I guess our folks who are here to have a little bit more space in between themselves and others."

Collins hopes that as they continue all other COVID-19 safety precautions, along with providing extra space, everyone will be better in the long run.