WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Like all schools across the state, North High School in Worcester has been empty since Governor Charlie Baker ordered their closure last week. On Friday, the school started serving another purpose; housing some of the city's homeless population during the coronavirus pandemic.
Inside the school's gymnasium, there are 25 cots set up; 20 for men, and five for women. There is a separate room where they can eat, play games, and watch TV during the day.
According to the Telegram, the shelter was set up by the city in conjunction with Richie Gonzales, the operator of another shelter in the city, Hotel Grace, to better enable social distancing. Gonzales and his staff are on hand to provide meals for those staying in the school gym, and Worcester Public Schools custodians will help keep the place clean.
The Worcester Public Schools' nutrition department, which is providing meals to students in need, will be catering the makeshift shelter too. Evening meals will also come from community donations.
Gonzales said there will also be a police officer on hand, and staff including nurses and members of the Fire Department. The shelter is alcohol and drug free, and staff registered and screened the potential residents before they were admitted on Friday.
On Saturday, Worcester Technical High School was also transformed into a satellite shelter for another 25 homeless people. The city is preparing to provide more shelter locations in an effort to ensure more social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
(Photo: City of Worcester/Twitter)