Morgantown groups working together on housing homeless

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Multiple Morgantown-area groups have formed a task force aimed at helping house homeless individuals during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Monongalia County Health Department and other organizations began the project after a suspect case among the homeless population and agreed to use the Star City Motel 6 for housing purposes.

Other organizations involved include the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness, the Monongalia County Commission, Monongalia County Health Department, Mon Health System, WVU Medicine and the Bartlett House.

Monongalia County Commission Tom Bloom said individuals are being screened as well as monitored by nonprofit workers.

“We’re not just putting them out there and leaving them,” he explained. “We will have people working with them, communicating and helping with the special needs they may have. It’s an ongoing process.”

The move also allows service workers to reach out to homeless people and assist in the recovery process.

“The staff and peer recovery coaches at the Friendship House have stepped to the forefront to do daily check-ins and ensure everybody is OK,” said Rachel Coen, executive director of the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness.

“We’ve coordinated with Mon Health Systems to get meals every day.”

Coen said one goal of the task force is getting the city of Morgantown involved, noting a Community Development Block Grant the city is expected to receive.

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