Quarantine Area, Rapid Re-housing Program & More Planned By First Step Shelter

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Daytona Beach, FL - One of the area's newest homeless shelters has a few plans in mind for the almost $1.1 million in CARES act funding they're eligible for, which they plan to present at the Volusia County Council's next meeting.

Their plans will be laid out Tuesday morning (September 15th) during a presenation by the shelter, according to Dr. Victoria Fahlberg, the director of the First Step Shelter (FSS) in Daytona Beach.

Fahlberg spoke to News Daytona Beach and explained that there are a few things that the shelter wishes to accomplish with the almost $1.1 million in coronavirus relief funds. One of those things will address a problem the shelter is currently facing with the ongoing pandemic, the intake of residents without rapid testing.

"(We) had a lot of struggles around being able to bring new residents into the shelter because we haven't been able to get access to rapid testing," said Fahlberg. "In fact, we're still having trouble getting the slower kind of testing."

To combat the problem, the shelter wants to set up a quarantine area where incoming residents can isolate before moving into the facilities main dormitory.

The funding will also help the shelter pay for a renovation that will allow FSS to become a hurricane/cold weather shelter for those that are not residents of the facility.

According to Fahlberg, that renovation includes adding a partition to the facility's main activity area, which will allow them to separate residents from other individuals that stay in the shelter during a weather event. Fahlberg added that the area can also be used to isolate any infected residents, if the situation arises.

The shelter is also hoping to secure funding in order to operate a rapid re-housing program, which they have not been able to offer yet.

"It will enable us to get people here in the shelter into housing more quickly," commented Fahlberg. "That's something we're really excited about."

The Volusia County Council is set to meet Tuesday morning at 9:30.

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