by Doug Donahoo
Church groups canceled reservations. Summer camp was called off. Suddenly, The Salvation Army in Kansas City, Mo., found itself with a lot of space available at Three Trails Camp at a time when it was desperately needed.
Though most people in the city had a home in which to quarantine, there was a question of what to do for homeless individuals who contracted the coronavirus.
“While the community was quick to identify a location for quarantining individuals waiting on test results, there was a lack of a location of where to house those folks if they did test positive,” said Joyce Schau, Kansas and Western Missouri divisional social services director.
The Salvation Army offered the use of Booth Lodge at Three Trails Camp, and in partnership with the Greater Kansas City Coalition to End Homelessness, the Jackson County COVID-19 Isolation Center was born.
“Our divisional leaders realized that we have such a valuable space, and that they wanted to make that available for community needs,” said Carrie Dixon, camp marketing and guest relations director.
While The Salvation Army provided the space, the Homeless Coalition facilitated the infrastructure, hiring and supervising staff. Jackson County, where the camp is located, has been working with them. The coalition made the 40 beds available to any patient in need of a place to recuperate, no matter where they live in the Kansas City metro and surrounding area.
Each room presents a home-like atmosphere, complete with clean sheets, towels, storage and soft lighting. Camp staff cook meals in the dining hall kitchen for delivery to Booth Lodge, where Isolation Center staff make final deliveries to rooms.
The Isolation Center officially opened for occupancy on May 14, a testament to The Salvation Army joining forces with multiple local agencies to provide a desperately needed resource in the midst of a crisis.