Bridgeport homeless shelter forced to turn people away because of COVID

With temperatures expected to drop into the 20s tonight, the Bridgeport Rescue Mission would typically go into overflow mode taking in anyone who needs refuge from the cold, but because of the pandemic they can no longer do that, officials say.

News 12 Staff

Nov 18, 2020, 8:01 PM

Updated 1,305 days ago

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With temperatures expected to drop into the 20s tonight, the Bridgeport Rescue Mission would typically go into overflow mode taking in anyone who needs refuge from the cold, but because of the pandemic they can no longer do that, officials say.
Director of Life Change Programs at the shelter Maryann Gardner says they can't put people at risk due to COVID-19.
"We would be putting everyone at major risk if we were to just open the door and say, 'come in and sit down and get out of the rain [or] the snow.' It would be nice in the old days that we could do that, but not anymore."
But the mission is still there for the homeless, and Gardner says they just launched a new program called "Abundant Life."
"They can stay with us. And we help them become self-sufficient, stabilize their life, get case management, help with doctor's appointments, Social Security, a place, and job skills. It's just like giving them a brand new gift of life."
Those who wish to join the program just have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, she says.
As for those in need of emergency shelter tonight, officials say it's best to just call 211 and state officials will help find temporary shelter.
In Bridgeport, officials say the city's homeless agencies are working with local hotels to make sure everyone is accommodated.


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