Charlotte Rescue Mission pauses admissions at men’s shelter after COVID-19 outbreak

Updated: Jan. 11, 2021 at 11:18 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Charlotte Rescue Mission’s men’s campus (Rebound) is pausing admissions after a COVID-19 outbreak was reported.

Admissions will be paused until Mecklenburg County Health Department approves its reopening.

All residents who have tested positive will be quarantined in the county isolation hotel for 14 days. Officials say residents who tested negative will be tested again and monitored for symptoms.

The Charlotte Rescue Mission has put all program activities on hold.

“While we are saddened to close admissions for the time being, we believe it is necessary to keep current and future residents safe and healthy,” said Trina Fullard, chief programs officer. “Once our campus is cleared by the health department, we look forward to continuing to serve the Charlotte community as we have for the past 83 years.”

Charlotte Rescue Mission provides a free 120-day Christian residential program for men and women who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol and are predominately homeless. Charlotte Rescue Mission volunteers worked tirelessly last Christmas to make sure people who needed food for the holidays got it.

The hustle and bustle of it all made us realize helping your neighbor was better then any wrapped gift. But now, with the pandemic at our doorstep, those same tables that filled bellies just last year are empty, as are many of the beds here.

“The Charlotte Rescue Mission is fighting two diseases on the same front. One is COVID-19, the other is addiction.” said Tony Marciano with the Charlotte Rescue Mission.

The rescue helps those battling drug and alcohol dependency. It’s a vital piece to the puzzle in an ever-growing city. But admissions for treatment have suddenly stopped.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had a case of COVID come through the mission.” Marciano explained.

Nearly 300 people call the shelter and its twin Dove’s Nest for women a temporary home. But when cases of the virus sprung up here, a plan needed to come together quickly.

“We started hearing there were residence who were feeling sick and we tested them and found out they were positive.” according to Marciano.

Those who came back with a positive test were moved to area hotel rooms where they are undergoing a two-week quarantine. Those who came back with a clean bill of health were able to stay at the shelter, but under pandemic protocols.

So how does the Rescue Mission continue the program of recovery when they can’t interact with the residents? Just like in school, they’re assigned homework.

“They still have the opportunity to build that foundation of long-term sobriety with the curriculum we use at the rescue mission,” Marciano said.

Workers are hoping this will get back to normal with daily cleanings and preventions in a couple of weeks. But with this being such a fluid business, you never know whose walking in your front door.

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